Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Sara Seager, the Ellen Swallow Richards Associate Professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, has won the 2007 Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
The Warner Prize is normally awarded annually for a significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy during the five years preceding the award. It is given to an astronomer who is not yet 36 years of age in the year designated for the award or is within eight years of receipt of the Ph.D. degree. The recipient must be a resident of North America or a member of a North American institution, stationed abroad.
Seager received the prize for developing "fundamental techniques for understanding, analyzing, and finding the atmospheres of extrasolar planets," according to the AAS.
Previous recipients of the Helen B. Warner Prize include Riccardo Giacconi, Allan R. Sandage and Maarten Schmidt.