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Bridget Fortin Named Inaugural Estée Lauder Epigenetics Fellow at UCI

Posted: 2023-11-08

Source: UCI School of Medicine
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Photo caption: Michael J. Stamos, MD, Dean, School of Medicine, UCI; Jennifer Palmer, Senior Vice President, Global Skincare Product Development & Marketing, Estée Lauder; Bridget Fortin, Estée Lauder Fellowship Recipient; Nadine Pernodet, PhD, Senior Vice President, Bioscience, R&D, Estée Lauder; Emiliana Borrelli, PhD, Chancellor’s Professor, Dept of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, UCI; Ivan Mazarri, PhD, Director, Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism, UCI; Ronald Evans, PhD, Professor, Head of Gene Expression Lab, Salk Institute, Paolo Sassone-Corsi Inaugural Lecturer

University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine announced Bridget Fortin as the first recipient of the Estée Lauder Epigenetics Fellowship. Fortin was honored at the Inaugural Paolo Sassone-Corsi Lectureship, held on Oct. 19, at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, Calif. The event, presented by Estée Lauder, featured a keynote lecture by Ronald M. Evans, PhD, of the Salk Institute. The audience included nearly 120 faculty, students, researchers, and friends from across the university and the community.   

The Estée Lauder Epigenetics Fellowship was established to honor the late Paolo Sassone-Corsi, PhD, who was UCI’s Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry and director of the Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism. Awarded annually, the fellowship supports doctoral students involved with scientific work in epigenetics. It is granted to emerging scientists, with a particular attention to those in financial need and/or first-generation students.

“Estée Lauder is extremely proud to support leading research in epigenetics at University of California, Irvine by recognizing the next generation of scientists in honor of our long-time collaborator Dr. Paolo Sassone-Corsi. We are excited to announce the first recipient for this Fellowship, Bridget Fortin, a promising emerging scientist working to define the epigenetic impact on cancer due to the loss of circadian rhythm,” said Nadine Pernodet, PhD, senior vice president, Bioscience, R&D, the Estée Lauder Companies.

Fortin received her bachelor's degree in biochemistry with a minor in computational science from Point Loma University. Her previous research focused on elucidating pathways hijacked by cancer cells to promote pro-inflammatory macrophage cell polarization. Fortin is a biological chemistry PhD candidate within the UCI School of Medicine. She works in UCI School of Medicine Associate Professor Selma Masri’s lab where she studies the circadian clock and colorectal cancer. Fortin’s research aims to define circadian transcriptional and epigenetic control of immunosuppression in cancer.

 “I am thrilled to be named the inaugural Estée Lauder Epigenetics Fellow,” Fortin said. “This award will allow me to make strides in my research and hopefully apply my science to society as a whole to transform lives in the years to come.”

 “We are honored to partner with Estée Lauder to celebrate Paolo Sassone-Corsi’s legacy and continue to advance groundbreaking scientific work in epigenetics,” said Michael J. Stamos, MD, dean, UCI School of Medicine. “This fellowship will enable UCI to continue to recruit highly skilled, talented PhD students dedicated to pathbreaking research.”

To learn more about the Estée Lauder Fellowship or the Paolo Sassone-Corsi Lectureship, please contact Joy Kliewer, Senior Director of Development, at