Honorary Degree Citation
Clare Waterman '89
May 24, 2009
Clare Waterman, Class of 1989, your alma mater is proud to honor you for your exceptional career in cell biology at this twentieth anniversary of your own graduation. In those two decades you have developed a compelling research agenda and emerged as one of your field's rising stars.
After studying biochemistry at Mount Holyoke, you went on to earn an M.S. in exercise science and then a Ph.D. in cell biology in 1995. It was in your postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina that your prodigious talent captured the attention of your field when you discovered fluorescence speckle microscopy and you developed, along with Dr. Ted Salmon, new analytical methods to study protein dynamics in living cells. You went on to the Scripps Research Institute where you began your own highly productive research program. Using your revolutionary research methods, you have brought new understanding to cell motility and migration, a foundation upon which scientists may pursue cures for diseases of the immune and vascular systems, as well as cancer metastasis.
Your groundbreaking work at Scripps did not go unnoticed, and in 2008 you were named chief of the Laboratory of Cell and Tissue Morphodynamics at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, within the National Institutes of Health: a recognition of your scientific achievement, your leadership in your field, and your potential to advance the study of cell motility to new heights. Along the way you have been honored with numerous grants, awards, and prizes, including in 2005 the Director’s Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health, in 2006 the R.R. Bensley Award in Cell Biology from the American Association of Anatomists, and in 2007 the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics. Your colleagues commend your intellectual energy, your broad expertise, and your powerful and engaging teaching. In addition to your own work, you give generously of yourself as a mentor to other aspiring scientists, and, lest we forget that a Mount Holyoke education prepares you for anything, you are also a proficient softball player and auto mechanic.
Clare Waterman, class of 1989, your career affirms Mount Holyoke's founding premise, articulated some 170 years ago, that women can indeed do science. We are immensely proud of you. It is with great pleasure that I confer upon you your second Mount Holyoke degree, the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.
Claire Waterman ’89