An ASCB member since 1988, Shapiro has been a pioneer in bacterial cell biology, establishing the Caulobacter as a model organism for exploring the little known mechanisms of basic bacterial cell life such as cell cycle and cell specification.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), which administers the medals, filmed a short news video in which Shapiro appeared seated, with her four young grandchildren standing around her. View video
In the interview, Shapiro stressed the urgency of understanding bacteria as cells. "Right now we are in a perfect storm of an increasing (number) of therapeutic drugs that are no longer working because of resistance as well as emerging infectious diseases because we live in a global village." On their best behavior, the grandchildren struggled mightily to follow her message until the last 30 seconds of the video when Shapiro addressed them directly with her hopes for their future. The ending is priceless.