Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems Distinguished Lecture

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Mina Bissell, Ph.D.
Distinguished Scientist

Biological Systems and Engineering Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

“How Does a Breast Cell Learn to Become a Tissue, and What Happens When it Forgets?”

Mina Bissell, is Distinguished Senior Scientist, (the highest rank bestowed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory LBNL), serves as Senior Advisor to the Laboratory Director on Biology. She is Faculty of four Graduate Groups in UC Berkeley: Comparative Biochemistry, Endocrinology, Molecular Toxicology, and Bioengineering (UCSF/UCB joint program). She has challenged several established paradigms, and pioneered the field of tumor microenvironment. Using mammary gland and breast cancer her body of work has provided the foundation for the current recognition of the pivotal role that extracellular matrix (ECM) signaling plays in regulation of gene expression in both normal and malignant cells. Her laboratory pioneered the use of 3D organoids and techniques that allowed her to prove her signature phrase that after conception, “phenotype is dominantover genotype.”

Bissell earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Harvard College where she received the medal of American Institute of Chemistry doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from Harvard Medical School, won an American Cancer Society fellowship for her postdoctoral studies, and soon after joined LBNL. She was the founding Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Division and later the Associate Laboratory Director for all Life Sciences at Berkeley Lab where she recruited outstanding scientists and developed a strong program in cell and molecular biology and breast cancer. Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) is a National 


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Floyd Wood
  • Created: 09/17/2019
  • Modified By: Floyd Wood
  • Modified: 09/17/2019


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