9 February 2023 – EMBO and FEBS announce Sarah Teichmann of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Department of Physics of the University of Cambridge, UK, as the recipient of the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award 2023.
“I was incredibly excited when I heard the news—this award is truly an honour! I have been involved with EMBO and FEBS in different capacities for many years and have always tried to advocate for increasing inclusion in science,” Teichmann says about receiving the award. “I would like to thank everyone in my group past and present, as well as my collaborators and colleagues, for their support and encouragement over the years.”
The FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award recognizes a female scientist for major achievements in the life sciences made in Europe in the last five years and for being an inspiring role model for women in science. Teichmann receives it for her outstanding contributions in three scientific areas: protein assemblies, regulation of gene expression and, most recently, single-cell phenotyping including mapping of immune cells.
“In every aspect, Sarah Teichmann is a phenomenon. She has inspired a multitude of scientists and had a tremendous impact on science and society through her spectacular, bold and groundbreaking research,” says M. Madan Babu of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, USA, who was Teichmann’s first PhD student and is an EMBO Member.
EMBO Director Fiona Watt comments: “I am delighted that Sarah Teichmann is receiving this award. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with her on the Human Cell Atlas, so I have first hand experience of her remarkable talents.”
Teichmann co-founded and co-leads the international Human Cell Atlas (HCA), an initiative of over 2,600 scientists from 86 countries that aims to create cellular reference maps with the position, function and characteristics of every cell type in the human body. Since 2018, her group has published several cell atlas studies on different organs and systems including the placenta/decidua, immune system, skin, heart, lung, thymus, intestinal tract and liver, and has applied the comprehensive maps to gain new insights into health and disease.
“Through the Human Cell Atlas, Sarah Teichmann has taken a leading role in driving the field of single-cell genomics forwards, getting researchers across the globe to collaborate, making sure that the data are shared widely, and ensuring ethical and equitable results arise from it,” comments Susanne Mandrup of the University of Southern Denmark, who is a co-ordinator of the HCA Adipose Biological Network and an EMBO Member. “The project as a whole is notable for its representation of women. It also seeks to be globally representative, with the recent establishment of HCA Africa and Latin America as fantastic examples of this.”
Teichmann has also advocated for implementing policies to support women and parents, as well as researchers from diverse backgrounds in science, and for creating a better research culture for all. In 2022 Teichmann and her colleagues Muzlifah Haniffa and Jasmin Fisher published a commentary with policy proposals to promote inclusion in academia. Throughout her career, she has supervised more than 65 postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. Teichmann has supported several mentees in achieving scientific independence who have gone on to becoming group leaders in institutions across Europe and beyond.
The FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award, consisting of 10,000 euros and a bronze statuette, will be presented to Teichmann at the 47th FEBS Congress in Tours, France, where she will give the award lecture on 9 July 2023.