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ASBMB taps 8 scientists for top awards

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has announced the recipients of its annual awards competition. Eight scientists were singled out for their outstanding achievements and contributions to science. The awards will officially be presented at the Experimental Biology 2009 Meeting, April 18-22, in New Orleans.

David Davies of the NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, will give the Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship. The award was established to recognize the many contributions of Dr. Tabor to both the JBC and the Society. Davies studies the structure and mechanism of action of the Toll-like receptors of the innate immune system as well as other proteins such as anti-anthrax lyase.

John Kuriyan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, will be honored with the ASBMB Merck Award for his exceptional achievements in and contributions to structural biology. Kuriyan is one of the world's leading researchers on protein kinases, and his studies of c-Src, c-Abl, and CaMKII have provided exciting new insights into the structure and function of these molecular systems.

Sarah Spiegel of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine will be presented with the Avanti Award in Lipids. This award honors outstanding scientists whose research interests are in the field of lipids. Spiegel is one of the founders of the paradigm that sphingolipid metabolites serve as signaling molecules, and the sphingolipid signal that she discovered, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), is now the most thoroughly characterized mediator in this field.

Susan Lindquist, an HHMI Investigator, member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will receive the FASEB Excellence in Science Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by women in the biological sciences. Lindquist is a pioneer in the study of protein folding and has shown that changes in folding can have profound and unexpected influences in fields as wide-ranging as human disease, evolution, and nanotechnology.

Douglas Rees, an HHMI Investigator and Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, will give the Fritz Lipmann Lectureship. This lectureship, which is awarded every 2 years, recognizes investigators who make conceptual advances in biochemistry, bioenergetics, and molecular biology. Rees has made pivotal contributions to understanding the structure of integral membrane proteins, membrane transport mechanisms, and metalloenzyme structure and mechanism.

Phillip Zamore, HHMI Investigator and Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, will be presented with the Schering-Plough Research Institute Award. The Schering Plough Award was established to recognize young investigators for outstanding research at an early stage of their careers. A pioneer in the study of RNA silencing in eukaryotes, Zamore's laboratory has played a role in nearly all of the major breakthroughs in the study of RNA silencing.

Sandra Schmid, an investigator at the Scripps Research Institute, will be honored with the William C. Rose Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to biochemical and molecular biological research and a demonstrated commitment to the training of younger scientists. Schmid is an internationally recognized biochemist who has been a pioneer in our understanding of the molecular basis of receptor-mediated endocytosis.

Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom of Duke University Medical Center will receive the ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education. The award, administered annually by the ASBMB Education & Professional Development Committee, is given to a scientist who encourages effective teaching and learning of biochemistry and molecular biology through his or her own teaching, leadership, writing, educational research, mentoring, or public enlightenment. Schwartz-Bloom's past research looked at novel pharmacologic approaches to prevent neuronal death caused by cerebral ischemia associated with cardiac arrest and stroke. Her current research program, which she started in 1996, focuses exclusively on science education.


Contact: Nick Zagorski
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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