Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Dr. Heidi B. Hammel, a principal research scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, has received additional recognition for her work last July monitoring the collision of fragments from the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with the planet Jupiter.
Provost Mark S. Wrighton has selected her to receive a $3,000 research allowance given at his discretion in honor of the late Vladimir Karapetoff, a distinguished scientist, electrical engineer and musician. Funds for the award were contributed by his late wife, Rosalie M. (Cobb) Karapetoff, who received the SM degree from MIT in 1923.
The award honors individuals at MIT who have-by research, theorizing or teaching-made valuable discoveries for, or contribution to, the benefit of science and/or mankind.
As team leader for interpreting Hubble Space Telescope images of the comet-Jupiter collisions, observed at Johns Hopkins University's Space Telescopic Science Institute, Dr. Hammel gained widespread public attention for her enthusiastic descriptions of the effects of the collisions.
"I have judged your research to be a `most valuable discovery for the benefit of science,'" Professor Wrighton said. "You have also been selected for your generous work to disseminate your findings and to contribute to the education of the public."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 25, 1995.