Leah Edelstein-Keshet Prize

Leah Edelstein-Keshet became the first woman President of the Society for Mathematical Biology in 1995. She is the author of the influential book, “Mathematical Models in Biology” in the SIAM Series Classics in Applied Mathematics. Leah Edelstein-Keshet is well-known for her outstanding scientific contributions and impact on the field of mathematical biology and biophysics. She has served as a role model and mentor in mathematical biology and her scientific insight has positively influenced many students over the years.

The award has two versions, junior and established/senior scientists, each given every four years. In the junior scientist version, the award recognizes a woman in an early stage of her career (assistant professor level at the nomination deadline) who is making exceptional scientific contributions to mathematical biology, developing a strong independent research program, and exhibiting a continuously high level of scientific endeavor and leadership. In the established/senior scientist version, the award recognizes an established scientist (associate, or full professor) with a demonstrated track record of exceptional scientific contributions to mathematical biology and/or has effectively developed mathematical models impacting biology. At the full professor rank, we expect that the recipient will exemplify a high level of scientific endeavor and leadership. This person should have made outstanding scientific achievements coupled with a record of active leadership in mentoring scientific careers.

The award recipient will receive a cash award of $500 and a certificate at the award ceremony in the Annual Meeting of the Society. They are also expected to give a talk at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology.

Recipients of the Leah Edelstein-Keshet Prize
2021 – Jennifer A. Flegg, University of Melbourne (junior)

I am an Associate Professor in applied mathematics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne. My research focuses on using mathematics and statistics to answer questions in biology and medicine. In particular, I develop mathematical models in areas such as wound healing, tumour growth and infectious disease epidemiology.  Being awarded the 2021 Leah Edelstein-Keshet Prize was an absolute honour and has allowed me to continue to highlight the work of women in mathematics (and mathematical biology), something that I am incredibly passionate about.

2019 – Helen M. Byrne, University of Oxford (senior)
2017 – Stacey D. Finley, University of Southern California (junior)

Stacey D. Finley is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Dr. Finley received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Florida A & M University and obtained her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. She completed postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Finley joined the faculty at USC in 2013, and she leads the Computational Systems Biology Laboratory. Dr. Finley is jointly appointed in the Department of Quantitative and Computational Biology and has a courtesy appointment in Chemical Engineering & Materials Science. She is a member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Founding Director of the Center for Computational Modeling of Cancer at USC. Dr. Finley was elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2021 and named the inaugural holder of the Nichole A. and Thuan Q. Pham Professorship in 2022.


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