Selma Masri

Selma Masri, assistant professor of biological chemistry in the UCI School of Medicine, has won the prestigious 2022 Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Scholars Award for Science. The awards program honors one scholar in each STEM2D discipline: science, technology, engineering, math, manufacturing and design. The six diverse, international female recipients were selected out of a competitive global applicant pool that garnered 650 entries from 40 countries. Recognized as an emerging leader in a new field that links circadian rhythms to metabolism and tumor biology, Masri is currently focusing her research on the alarming increase in young-onset colorectal cancer, which may be linked to environmental factors, including sleep/light cycles and diet. Her studies in genetic models suggest that disruption of the circadian clock contributes to colorectal cancer progression and may be particularly relevant in early-onset cancers. The awards committee also commended Masri’s active involvement in mentorship and sponsorship for underrepresented minorities in science. She will receive $150,000 in research funding and three years of mentorship from Johnson & Johnson.