Credit: Mark Ostow Photography
Professor Susan Lindquist ForMemRS
Susan Lindquist transformed our understanding of how protein folding shapes biological systems. She made ground-breaking contributions in genetics, cell biology and biochemistry, using organisms as diverse as fungi, fruit flies, mustard plants, and mammals.
She discovered the functions of heat-shock proteins, identified prions as conduits of protein-based inheritance, and pioneered new platforms for neurodegenerative disease. She established the key role of the heat-shock proteins in tumor progression and the evolution of fungal drug resistance. She discovered that protein-folding buffers and releases genetic variation in response to environmental stress, providing the first plausible explanation for rapid bursts of evolution.