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American Society For Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Honors 11 Outstanding Scientists

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 11:23am
EurekAlert

BETHESDA, Md., July 28, 2010 - The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology last week named 10 scientists the winners of the nonprofit's annual awards. Another winner was announced earlier this year. The recipients, who will give talks at the society's annual meeting April 9-13 in Washington, D.C., are as follows:

Stanford University professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Axel T. Brunger won the inaugural DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences for his work in structural biology. Established this year, the award aims to honor the legacy of Warren L. DeLano, who embraced the concept of open-source technology, making his programs and source code freely available to prospective users and enabling researchers to build on his technologies. The award is given to a scientist for innovative and accessible development or application of computer technology to enhance research in the life sciences at the molecular level. Brunger's concepts and strategies helped provide the foundation of much of modern structural biology. The award consists of a plaque, a $3,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the recipient to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein, two Nobel laureates from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, have been named the winners of the inaugural Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award. Brown and Goldstein shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for their discovery of the LDL receptor and the process of receptor-mediated endocytosis, which controls the level of cholesterol in blood and cells. In recent years, they discovered sterol regulatory element binding proteins and the process of regulated intramembrane proteolysis, which maintains the lipid composition of cell membranes. The award was established by friends and colleagues to preserve the Stadtmans' legacies as scientists and mentors. The distinguished scientist award and its companion young investigator award are issued in alternating years. The distinguished scientist award that Brown and Goldstein won consists of a plaque, a $10,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the recipients to present lectures at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Charles E. Chalfant, an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University-School of Medicine and a research career scientist at the McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center in Richmond, Va., won the Avanti Young Investigator Award in Lipid Research for his work on lipid signaling pathways regulating alternative pre-mRNA processing and eicosanoid biosynthesis. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions by young investigators with no more than 15 years of experience. He will receive a plaque, a $2,000 cash prize and transportation and expenses to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Job Dekker, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, won the ASBMB Young Investigator Award, which recognizes outstanding research contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology by those who have no more than 15 years postdoctoral experience. Dekker developed and applied powerful new technologies to study the three-dimensional organization of chromosomes and genomes. His pioneering work has led to fundamental new insights into genome organization and regulation. The award consists of a plaque, a $5,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the recipient to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Christine Guthrie, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, won the ASBMB-Merck Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology. Guthrie, an American Cancer Society research professor of molecular genetics, pioneered the use of budding yeast as a model organism for a mechanistic understanding of messenger RNA splicing. The award consists of a plaque, a $5,000 cash prize, and travel expenses for the recipient and his/her spouse to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Arthur Gutierrez-Hartmann, a professor at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine, won the inaugural Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award, which was established to honor an outstanding scientist who has shown a strong commitment to the encouragement and mentoring of under-represented minorities entering the scientific enterprise. Gutierrez-Hartmann studies the role of ETS transcription factors in development and cancer. The award consists of a plaque, a $3,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the recipient to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Yusuf Hannun, professor and department chairman at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, S.C., won the Avanti Award in Lipids for his work on bioactive sphingolipids, a class of lipids that, when defective, can cause disorders with significant medical impacts. The award consists of a plaque, a $3,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the recipient to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Arthur E. Johnson, a distinguished professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center's College of Medicine, won the Fritz Lipmann Lectureship. The award, issued every other year, was established by friends and colleagues of Nobel Prize winner Lipmann for conceptual advances in biochemistry, bioenergetics or molecular biology. The award includes a plaque, a $3,000 cash prize, and travel expenses for the recipient to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Cheryl A. Kerfeld, a structural biologist and the head of the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute's Education and Structural Genomics Program, won the ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education. Kerfeld, who also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, was named the winner for encouraging effective teaching and learning of biochemistry and molecular biology through her own teaching, leadership in education, writing, educational research, mentoring and public enlightenment. The award consists of a plaque, a $3,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the recipient to present a plenary lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Melissa J. Moore, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has been named the winner of the William C. Rose Award. Moore, noted for her work with gene splicing and messenger RNA, was nominated for the award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to biochemical and molecular biological research and her demonstrated commitment to the training of younger scientists. The award consists of a plaque, a $3,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the recipient to present a lecture at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Earlier this year, George R. Stark, a distinguished scientist at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute and emeritus professor of genetics at Case Western Reserve University, won the 2011 Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship. The award recognizes outstanding lifetime scientific achievements and was established to honor the many contributions of Herbert Tabor to both the society and the journal, for which he has served as editor for nearly 40 years. Stark will be the eighth person so honored, joining a luminous group of recipients that includes the 2010 awardee, Nobel Prize winner Phillip A. Sharp. Stark will present his award lecture at the annual meeting's opening session, which will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9.

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