Dr. Bissell is a world renowned leader in the area of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in breast cancer and has ushered the era of the field of Microenvironment. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Chemistry and bacterial genetics from Harvard University and did postdoctoral work in virology in UC Berkeley. She joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she was appointed Director of all of Life Sciences in 1992. She is now a Distinguished Scientist and the Senior Advisor in Biology to the LBNL Director and a faculty in a number of Groups in UCBerkeley.
She has authored more than 265 publications and sits on editorial board of many journals, most recently Science magazine. She has received many awards and citations. These include the Lawrence Award and medal, the Mellon Award, the Eli Lilly/Clowes Award, the Brinker Award, the Discovery Health Channel Medical Honor and Medal and many more. She was the President of both the American Society of Cell Biology and International Society of Differentiation. She received an honorary doctorate both from the Pierre & Marie Curie University (Paris), and the University of Copenhagen. In the last few years she has received the first Innovator award from the USDOD and the first Distinguished Life Science Fellowship from the USDOE.
and has given more than 80 Named and Distinguished lectures. She was both a Fogarty and Guggenheim fellow, and has been elected to the IOM of the National Academies as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.