Date: July 22, 1996
The Newspaper for the Life Sciences Professional
Mina Bissell, director, Life Sciences Division, Berkeley National Laboratory; president-elect, American Society for Cell Biology, Washington, D.C.
From the outset of her career as a scientist, Mina Bissell has been an iconoclast. For the past 25 years, she has been engaged in understanding how a normal cell remains normal in order to comprehend how a cell becomes malignant. In 1981, based on her work with cultured cells, Bissell developed the concept that the differentiated state of normal cells is unstable. In 1982, she proposed a model of "dynamic reciprocity," which argued that the microenvironment-and specifically the extracellular matrix (ECM)-has crucial information for functional differentiation. In the last...