The government of Canada announced today that Bonnie Bassler is being awarded the Canada Gairdner International Award 2023 alongside Michael Silverman and E. Peter Greenberg “for their discoveries of how bacteria communicate with each other and surrounding non-bacterial cells, providing a new paradigm for how microbes behave and yielding novel avenues for therapeutics against infectious diseases.” The Canada Gairdner Award is one of the most prestigious biomedical and global health awards in the world.
Bassler is Princeton’s Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology, Greenberg is a professor of microbiology and the molecular and cellular biology program at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Silverman is an emeritus investigator with The Agouron Institute and an emeritus adjunct professor with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The three scientists are being honored for discovering “quorum sensing,” the remarkable finding that bacteria talk to each other. “These discoveries revolutionized how we understand the microbial world and the relationship between bacteria, human health and disease,” the Gairdner Foundation said. “These scientists’ contributions paved the way for groundbreaking solutions to pressing problems in health and the environment.”