Christopher Lillja
Christopher Lillja (photo: Denise Applewhite)

Name: Christopher Lillja.

Position: Communications manager in the Department of Facilities. Writing feature stories and updates on construction projects for the department’s website. Producing videos and printed pieces. Serving as the photographer for the department and managing digital assets. Coordinating the design, production and delivery of temporary signage on campus, especially at construction sites.

Quote: “I like the environment here. The intellectual action on this campus is tremendously exciting. And I’m blown away by the level of skill and dedication in the people I work with.”

Other interests: Going hiking with his 10-year-old son, Thomas, and his 5-year-old daughter, Catie. Building vacuum tube amplifiers. Making photographs with a large-format camera.

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Bonnie Bassler, the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology, will receive the eighth annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences.

Bassler was selected for her pioneering investigations into quorum sensing, a mechanism that allows bacteria to “talk” to one another with chemical languages, and to coordinate group behaviors such as causing diseases in humans.

“Quorum sensing can be employed to control the virulence of disease-causing bacteria,” said Günter Blobel, chair of the awards jury for the prize, which is presented by the publishing company John Wiley & Sons. Blobel added that “the signal molecules that these bacteria use to communicate, which Dr. Bassler has identified, open the door for developing new classes of antibiotics.”

The prize recognizes contributions that have opened new fields of research or have advanced novel concepts or their applications in a particular biomedical discipline. It also honors a specific contribution or series of contributions that demonstrate significant leadership and innovation.

The award will be presented April 3 at Rockefeller University in New York.