Prof. Zena Werb

(BSc 1966 UC) (PhD 1971 The Rockefeller University)

Distinguished scientist Zena Werb is Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco. Born in a concentration camp in Germany, she eventually immigrated to Canada with her family, studying biochemistry at UC at cell biology at The Rockfeller University. She is internationally recognized for her discoveries about the molecular and cellular bases of extracellular matrix proteolysis and their roles in the normal functioning of tissues. Her studies have led to new paradigms about the role of the cellular microenvironment and intercellular communication in breast development and cancer. The author of more than 450 articles, Werb is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For her outstanding contributions, she has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Excellence in Science Award, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Copenhagen, among other honours.