2022 Award Recipients

David Bixler Distinguished Scientist in Craniofacial Research

Award

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Loydie Jerome-Majewska

Associate Professor

McGill University 

Dr. Loydie Jerome-Majewska, Associate Professor (tenured) in the Department of Pediatrics at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) is the 2022 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. Loydie received her B.A. from Wesleyan University, and Ph.D. from Columbia University under the guidance of Dr. Virginia Papaioannou. It was during this time that she gained an interest in the molecular mechanism behind 22q11 syndrome (DiGeorge Syndrome). She showed that Tbx1 was expressed in all tissues affected in 22q11 syndrome and that mice lacking Tbx1 phenocopy defects observed in individuals with 22q11 syndrome. In 2001, Loydie continued in the lab of Dr. Papaioannou, where she investigated the roles of Tbx2 and Tbx3 in mammary gland development. She then jointed the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Lacy, where as a post-doctoral fellow, she identified a novel gene involved in mesoderm formation and patterning. Loydie started her independent career in 2005 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McGill University, where she was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2014. Her lab uses mouse genetics to investigate the molecular and cellular bases of human developmental disorders. Her lab has recently developed and characterized several mouse models with mutations in core components of the spliceosome that have been linked to craniofacial malformations in human patients. Her work has provided important novel insights into these pathologies. Loydie has strong publication record and has been successful in obtaining extramural funding. In addition, she is active in the community in peer review and is currently Editor-in-Chief for Differentiation. Loydie has been a member of SCGDB since 2017 and has contributed to multiple annual meetings. Loydie will receive a commemorative plaque and deliver a plenary lecture on her research on RNA splicing during craniofacial development at the 45th Annual SCGDB Meeting.

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Ralph Marcucio

Professor

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Ralph Marcucio, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is the recipient of the 2022 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. Ralph earned his Ph.D. in Animal Science and Reproductive Physiology at Cornell University in the laboratory of Dr. W. Bruce Currie before becoming a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of renowned developmental biologist Dr. Drew Noden. While working in the Noden lab at Cornell, Ralph used the avian model system to reveal new insights into craniofacial skeletal muscle morphogenesis. He went on to complete a second postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Jill Helms at UCSF, where he and his colleagues discovered the Frontal Nasal Ectodermal Zone (FEZ), a signaling center in the surface ectoderm that is induced by the forebrain and controls patterning and growth of the face. In 2003, Ralph joined the faculty at USCF and launched his research program, which since has advanced our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate craniofacial shape using innovative approaches in mouse genetics, avian embryology, morphometric analyses, and genomics. His lab has also made important contributions to the understanding of cellular mechanisms that underlie bone fracture repair. In addition to his research accomplishment, Ralph has served as a member of the Program Committee for American Association of Anatomists for over 10 years and currently is a standing member of the NIH study section for Skeletal Biology Structure and Regeneration. He is also appointed on the editorial boards for Evolutionary Biology, Developmental Biology, Journal Orthopaedic Research and Developmental Dynamics. Ralph served as the SCGDB’s Vice President (2014-2016), President (2016-2018) and immediate past President (2018-2020). His dedication to the SCGDB has been instrumental in the society’s success. Ralph was instrumental in negotiating the affiliate agreement between SCGDB and the American Association of Anatomy. This agreement has strengthened the SCGDB’s financial future, grown our membership, and increased the visibility of its members’ research. Ralph will receive a commemorative plaque and deliver a plenary lecture on his research at the 45th Annual SCGDB Meeting at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, California.