Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz attended Swarthmore College graduating with honors in 1974. After several years of teaching, she turned to laboratory research working with Dr. Phil Hanwalt at Stanford University receiving a Master's degree in Biology in 1979. Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz then entered the Ph.D. Program in Biology at Johns Hopkins University studying under the mentorship of Dr. Douglas Fambrough. After doing post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Richard Klausner at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, she established her own lab at the National Institutes of Health and is now Chief of the Section on Organelle Biology in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch.
Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz uses live cell imaging approaches to analyze the spatio-temporal behavior and dynamic interactions of molecules in cells. These approaches have helped to change the conventional 'static' view of protein distribution and function in cells to a more dynamic view that integrates information on protein localization, concentration, diffusion and interactions that are indiscernible from protein sequences and in vitro biochemical experiments alone.
Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz's projects cover a vast range of cell biological topics, including protein transport and the cytoskeleton, organelle assembly and disassembly, and the generation of cell polarity. Analysis of the dynamics of fluorescently labeled proteins expressed in cells is performed using numerous live cell imaging approaches, including FRAP, FCS and photoactivation. Most recently, her research employs photoactivation localization microscopy, called PALM, that enables visualization of molecule distributions at high density at the nano-scale. Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz serves as Editor for Current Protocols in Cell Biology and The Journal of Cell Science and she is on the Editorial Boards of Cell, Molecular Biology of the Cell and Traffic. She is an active member of the scientific community, serving as a member of the Council for the American Society of Cell Biology and on the Executive Board of the Biophysical Society. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2008.