Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz received her B.A. from Swarthmore College, her M.S. in Biology from Stanford University, and her Ph.D in Biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University. She did post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Klausner and served as Chief of the Section on Organelle Biology in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH until 2016. She is currently group leader at Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, VA.
Lippincott-Schwartz's research uses live cell imaging approaches to analyze the spatio-temporal behavior and dynamic interactions of molecules and organelles in cells. Her group has pioneered the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) technology for quantitative analysis and modeling of intracellular protein traffic and organelle biogenesis in live cells and embryos, providing novel insights into cell compartmentalization, protein trafficking and organelle inheritance. Most recently, her research has focused on the development and use of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins, which ‘switch on’ in response to light. One application of these proteins she has put to use is photoactivated localization microscopy, (i.e., PALM), a superresolution imaging technique that enables visualization of molecule distributions at high density at the nano-scale.
Her work has been recognized with election to the National Academy of Sciences (2008) and the National Institute of Medicine (2009), and with the Royal Microscopy Society Pearse Prize (2010) and the Society of Histochemistry Feulgen Prize (2001). Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz is currently Editor for Current Protocols in Cell Biology and The Journal of Cell Science and is on the editorial boards of Cell, Physiology and Integrative Biology. She is President-elect of the American Society of Cell Biology and has had leadership roles in the Biophysical Society. She serves on the advisory board for the Searle Scholar Program and scientific review board of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and is a non-resident Faculty Fellow of the Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA.