2020 Award Recipients

David Bixler Distinguished Scientist in Craniofacial Research


Kerstin Ludwig

Group Leader

University of Bonn

Dr Kerstin Ludwig, the Emmy-Noether Junior Research Group Leader in “Craniofacial Genomics” at the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn (Germany), is the 2020 recipient of the SCGDB Marylou Buyse Distinguished Scientist Award. This award, named after the first female president of the SCGDB, was created to recognize SCGDB members in the middle stage of their careers who have made important contributions to the craniofacial sciences. Kerstin received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Bonn during which time she revealed important insights into key population-level susceptibility loci for cleft lip/palate. Since then she has risen through the ranks at the University of Bonn, becoming a junior research group leader in 2011 and later Head of the Next-Generation Sequencing Facility at the Institute of Human Genetics in 2013. Throughout this time, Kerstin has continued to apply the latest genome-level sequencing technologies to make significant advances in our understanding of the complex genetics of non-syndromic orofacial clefting, for which she is widely recognized. She has published 75 original research articles in addition to a number of review articles and currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Dental Research and Frontiers in Genetics. In addition, Dr. Ludwig has been a Guest Editor for a Special Issue of Genes that is focused on the Molecular Genetics of Facial Traits & Malformations and is an ad hoc reviewer for 22 journals and six national grant agencies. Dr. Ludwig will receive a commemorative plaque and deliver a plenary lecture on her genomics research on orofacial clefting at the 43rd Annual SCGDB Meeting.

Marilyn Jones


Rady Children's Hospital San Diego

Dr. Marilyn Jones, Distinguished Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), is the recipient of the 2020 SCGDB David Bixler Distinguished Scientist Award. This award, named after the first President of the SCGDB, is the Society’s highest scientific honor and was created to recognize long-term distinguished leadership and meritorious contributions to the craniofacial sciences by a senior level SCGDB member. Marilyn received her MD from Columbia University in New York, became Chief Resident in Pediatrics at UCSD, and followed this with a Fellowship in Dysmorphology. Marilyn is an internationally renowned clinical geneticist and dysmorphologist who has had a profound impact on the field, particularly with respect to craniofacial anomalies. She has served in many executive roles, including President and member of the Board of Directors of a number of major American societies, including the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (1992-2001), the American College of Medical Genetics (1995-2009), and the Western Society for Pediatric Research (2003-present), among others, and as the local organizer for two very successful SCGDB annual meetings (2014, 2018). Her contributions to education and service, particularly in relation to birth defects, have been recognized with numerous awards over the last 20 years. Since 1980, Marilyn has held the position of Director of the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Treatment Programs at Rady Children’s Hospital and Medical Director at Bernardy Center for Medically Fragile Children. Moreover, she has published over 140 articles in her outstanding career, making seminal contributions to the craniofacial field. Marilyn will receive a commemorative plaque and deliver a plenary lecture on her clinical work and research at the 43rd Annual SCGDB Meeting.

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2018 SCGDB Developmental Biology Awards
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