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University of Virginia UVA Arts & Sciences Default

UVA Biologist Ray Keller Honored for Lifetime Achievement

Jan 28, 2020 |

The Society for Developmental Biology has announced its selection of UVA biology professor Ray Keller as the recipient of its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes a senior biologist for outstanding contributions to the field, exceptional mentoring of the next generation of scientists and service to the scientific community.

Raymond Keller, Alumni Council Thomas Jefferson Professor of Biology
Molly Angevine / A&S Communications

Keller's laboratory at UVA uses high-resolution imaging to investigate the riddle of how "tens, hundreds, thousands of embryonic cells act in a coordinated fashion to shape the body plan of multicellular animals," says Deborah Roach, chair of UVA's department of biology. Keller’s pioneering approach, she says, has “provided the field with insights that simply would not have been possible in any other way.”

Outside of the lab, Keller has also had a significant impact on the scientific community and its students.

"Ray’s work, his extraordinary intuition, and his generosity of spirit have inspired developmental biologists since the 1980s, including several here at UVA,” says Roach.

The Society for Developmental Biology is a professional society dedicated to the advancement of the study of how multicellular organisms grow and develop. Its Lifetime Achievement Award is a highly prestigious honor shared by only handful of scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners.

"The international reputation of our department is built on scientists with Ray’s stature,” Roach says. “He is at the very top of his field, and the visibility that his work brings to the department helps us to attract top-quality young faculty and graduate students to our program.