Newswise — La Jolla, Calif., January 13, 2016 — Malene Hansen, Ph.D., associate professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), has been named the recipient of the 2017 Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc. Mentor Award from the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). Hansen is being honored for her “positive influence on postdoctoral training at San Diego institutions” and her “commitment to mentoring and service.”

“I’m delighted to receive this award, especially because I was nominated by my current and former postdocs,” says Hansen. “I’ve always believed that training the next generation of scientists is among the most important tasks of an independent investigator, and it’s great to be recognized for those efforts. I look forward to seeing that tradition carried on as my students and postdocs start their own labs.”

Hansen is strongly involved in shaping the educational environment at SBP, serving as both Faculty Advisor for Postdoctoral Training and Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Together with SBP’s Office of Education, Training, and International Services, she has facilitated the creation of programs that help trainees develop the leadership, management and communication skills necessary to succeed in their future careers.

“Indeed, I hope that this award can help emphasize the importance of mentoring for a successful postdoctoral experience, something that SBP recognizes with a strong institutional commitment towards education and training,” says Hansen. Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., professor and president of SBP, adds, “The impact of Dr. Hansen’s mentoring engagement is manifold. Empowering our junior scientists with a better skill set ultimately increases the quality of the science at our institute and beyond.”

Research in the Hansen lab uses the small roundworm C. elegans to understand the molecular mechanisms of aging, focusing on the cellular recycling process called autophagy. Her work has demonstrated that autophagy plays a key role in promoting longevity and has identified several new regulators of autophagy.

Hansen’s contributions to the understanding of aging have been recognized with awards such as the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award and the Julie Martin Mid-Career Award from the American Federation for Aging Research.

# # # #About the NPAThe National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) is a member-driven, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a unique, national voice for postdoctoral scholars. Since 2003, the NPA has taken on an ambitious agenda to enhance the quality of the postdoctoral experience in the United States. Headquartered in Rockville, MD, the NPA meets its agenda through advocacy, resource development and community-building.

About SBPSanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is an independent nonprofit medical research organization that conducts world-class, collaborative, biological research and translates its discoveries for the benefit of patients. SBP focuses its research on cancer, immunity, neurodegeneration, metabolic disorders and rare children’s diseases. The Institute invests in talent, technology and partnerships to accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries that will have the greatest impact on patients. Recognized for its world-class NCI-designated Cancer Center and the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, SBP employs about 1,100 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at or on Facebook at and on Twitter @SBPdiscovery.

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