On May 25th, 2019, we will gather together in Amherst to celebrate Lila Gierasch’s lifetime of science, her collaborative spirit and her role in shaping our lives as scientists and problem solvers.

We all know Lila from different stages of her career, but she has left her mark on all of us. Perhaps you were there in the very beginning, in her first-ever lab at Amherst College in the 70s, where she pushed boundaries as the first female faculty member in math and science at the newly co-ed school. Or maybe you crossed paths with her in the Chemistry Department at the University of Delaware, where she began her work on signal sequences and rose to Full Professor by her mid-thirties. Some of you may have met Lila first at UT Southwestern, where she jumped into the world of protein folding and molecular chaperones surrounded by Nobel Laureates past and future. Others may have been inspired to spin together the worlds of chemistry, biology and biophysics with Lila at the University of Massachusetts.

No matter the time or the location or the stage in your career, it is very likely that your time with Lila had great influence on you, and your career options and choices. She has tirelessly pursued fundamental questions in biology, finding the right tools and the right collaborators to help answer those questions. Along the way, she has inspired us with her passion and dedication to the highest scientific ideals.

Lila said it best herself in a retrospective she wrote in honor of one of her many awards, the 2010 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin award of the Protein Society. In this piece, she reflected thankfully on the opportunity to work together with trainees and collaborators : “More importantly, witnessing their discoveries, their perseverance, their growth, and their talents, and, in any way I could, fostering their careers, has provided the greatest sense of worthiness of my own efforts. I thank them all. I also thank the many collaborators who shrink the world of science and expand the world of the mind. We do more and better science by putting our brains and our abilities together.”

Come join in celebrating her lifelong spirit of discovery with us this Spring. Please follow this link to register your attendance or regrets. We would love to hear from all of you!