2021 Award Recipients

David Bixler Distinguished Scientist in Craniofacial Research


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Jeff Bush


University of California, San Fransisco

Dr. Jeffrey O. Bush, Professor of Cell and Tissue Biology in the School of Dentistry at the University of California San Francisco is the 2021 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. Jeff received his Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Genetics from Dr. Rulang Jiang’s lab at the University Rochester. During his studies, he identified one of the first genetic mutations causing cleft lip in mice by positionally cloning the Dancer mutation. He demonstrated that cleft lip in these mice was caused by misregulation of Tbx10 expression; it was later shown that Tbx10 is associated with cleft lip/palate in humans. In 2005, Dr. Bush started a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Phillipe Soriano, first at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and then at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine when Dr. Soriano moved his lab. It was here that Dr. Bush developed one of the current themes of his lab: the role of Eph/Ephrin signaling in facial development. In 2011, Jeff started his position at the University of California San Francisco as an Assistant Professor and has quickly moved up the ranks, being named Associate Professor in 2017 and Professor in 2021. His lab uses a battery of approaches based in mouse molecular genetics combined with ex vivo culture, live imaging, patient-specific hiPSC modeling, and biophysical methods, to understand how signaling regulates cellular organization and tissue shape in craniofacial development and disease. Jeff has a strong publication record and has been successful in obtaining extramural funding (including a K99/R00). He currently holds two NIH R01s and several other grants as co-investigator. Jeff reviews for a number of high impact journals, has served as editor for a special issue of Developmental Biology and has served on multiple NIH/CSR grant review panels. He has been a member of SCGDB since 2012 and has contributed to numerous annual meetings. Dr. Bush will receive a commemorative plaque and deliver a plenary lecture on his research on orofacial clefting at the 44th Annual SCGDB Meeting.
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Paul Trainor


Stowers Institute

Dr. Paul Trainor, Investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, MO and Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS is the recipient of the 2021 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. Paul received his Ph.D. from the lab of Dr. Patrick Tam at the Children’s Medical Research Institute in Sydney, Australia before taking post-doctoral position with Dr. Robb Krumlauf, then at the National Institute of Medical Research. Paul’s lab focuses on understanding neural crest cells and craniofacial development, concentrating on mechanisms that regulate neural crest cell formation, migration, and differentiation. As part of these interests, he has had success in relating changes observed in animal models to disease mechanisms in human craniofacial syndromes and is the author of 128 publications. Paul has held leadership positions in many organizations, including the Association of Anatomy (where he was named a fellow in 2018) and the Society for Developmental Biology. He has chaired two Gordon Conferences focusing on issues of craniofacial development and neural crest cell biology, is very active in both grant and manuscript review for our community and serves on multiple study sections and editorial boards. In addition, he is a prolific speaker, giving >250 seminars since 1997 and was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of Developmental Dynamics in 2017. Perhaps most notable has been his dedication and support to SCGDB. During Paul’s four-year tenure with SCGDB that started in 2012, he oversaw the annual meeting in such a way as to maintain the highest quality of scientific presentations while bringing SCGDB from insolvency to turning a profit so that the society could attract high-quality international speakers, maintain and build awards programs, and offer travel awards to select attendees. Paul’s planning and connections enabled SCGDB to find colleagues that were willing to host meetings and to broaden the SCGDB community. It is largely on account of Paul’s efforts that SCGDB is in such a solid financial state, the annual meetings are rivaling Gordon Research Craniofacial Conferences and the society is now an affiliate partner with the American Association for Anatomy. Paul will receive a commemorative plaque and deliver a plenary lecture on his clinical work and research at the 44th Annual SCGDB Meeting.