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Cell biologists' top scientific honor goes to pioneers of the cytoskeleton
Date:5/7/2014

BETHESDA, MD, MAY 7, 2014If cells were cars, then the three pioneering cell biologists just named winners of the 2014 E.B. Wilson Medal, the highest scientific honor of the American Society for Cell Biology, helped write the essential parts list. William "Bill" Brinkley of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, John Heuser of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Peter Satir of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx identified crucial pieces of the cytoskeleton, the cell's shape-shifting framework, and showed how these elements drive life at the cellular level.

Named for Edmund Beecher Wilson (1856-1939), America's first modern cell biologist, the Wilson Medal will be presented to the winners in December at the ASCB's 54th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. "We selected these three people because of their lifetime contributions to the field of cell biology, particularly to the study of the cytoskeleton," says Joseph Gall, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, who chaired the Wilson Medal selection committee for ASCB. "The E.B. Wilson is the highest award given by the ASCB and it means a great deal to ASCB members, who recognize that our science is both collaborative and shaped by exceptional individuals. These three are exceptional."

Early in his career, Satir made major breakthroughs using the then-novel technology of electron microscopy to visualize the famous 9+2 cross-section of bundled microtubules in the flagellum, the whip-like extensions that drive motile cells like sperm, or in the ciliary cells that line human airways, sweeping out debris in synchronized waves. Satir discovered that the microtubules in the bundle move by sliding past each other, proving they were powered by a one-way motor protein now called dynein. Satir's continued work and continued insistence that ciliary action was central to many life processes led to the discovery by other researchers in 2000 that defects in non-
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Contact: John Fleischman
jfleischman@ascb.org
513-706-0212
American Society for Cell Biology
Source:Eurekalert  

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Cell biologists' top scientific honor goes to pioneers of the cytoskeleton
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