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Researcher receives lectureship for lifetime achievements

Cleveland Clinic biochemist George R. Stark, Ph.D., has been awarded the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's (ASBMB) 2011 Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship.

Stark is the Distinguished Scientist of Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute and Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University.

"George Stark has been a leader and pioneer in basic and applied research," said Charles E. Samuel, Ph.D., the C.A. Storke II Professor of biochemistry and virology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and longtime colleague of Stark. "He has been a superb scientist personifying many of the characteristics of Herb Tabor. Recognition with our Society's Herbert Tabor Lectureship is a most fitting tribute to Stark's numerous seminal contributions."

The lectureship recognizes outstanding lifetime scientific achievements and was established to honor the many contributions of Dr. Herbert Tabor to both the ASBMB and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, where he has served as editor for nearly 40 years. Stark will be the eighth person so honored, joining previous recipients, which include a Nobel Laureate.

Stark said, "It is wonderfully gratifying to be recognized by one's peers, and it is a special privilege to be associated in this way with Herb Tabor and the previous Tabor lecturers."

Stark's contributions span many fields, influencing the understanding not only of basic biochemistry, but also gene regulation and cell signaling, having implications regarding immunity and cancer. These discoveries began during his early work on enzyme mechanisms and protein chemistry, where he developed the well known Northern and Western techniques, which detect specific nucleic acids and proteins, respectively. These techniques are now used worldwide by scientists in research, as well as in clinical testing applications. More recently, Stark is attributed with co-discovering gene amplification in mammalian cells and the Jak-Stat signaling cascade, a major pathway mediating cellular responses to signals sent by the immune system.

A native of New York City, Stark earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University in 1959. He then served as a research associate and assistant professor at Rockefeller University with biochemists and Nobel laureates William Stein and Stanford Moore. After moving to Stanford University in 1963, he became a full professor of biochemistry in 1971. From 1983 to 1992, he worked at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London (now Cancer Research UK) as a senior scientist and later associate director of research. In 1992, he relocated to Cleveland Clinic, where he served as Chair of the Lerner Research Institute until 2002, and where he continues his research today.

Stark will present his award lecture at ASBMB's annual meeting's opening session on Saturday, April 9, 2011, in Washington, D.C.


Contact: Dan Doron
Lerner Research Institute

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