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

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-motile cilium, cells with a single non-moving "antenna," were at the root of a common, lethal human disorder, polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This touched off a scientific land rush, linking cilium defects to a long list of "ciliopathies," diseases such as Bardet-Biedel syndrome, situs inversus, and nephronophthisis.

Heuser helped develop and refine new methods for "fixing" samples for electron microscopes through freeze-fracturing, using his technique of "deep freeze-deep etch EM" to revealed for the first time cellular processes too fleeting for traditional microscopy, including calcium-regulated exocytosis and membrane recycling. These "Heusergrams," as his former students called them, revealed details of the cytoskeleton in amazing high-resolution including cytoskeletal motors, clathrin and coated pits, SNARE complexes that are the mechanism of vesicle fusion, and endosomal sorting complexes that are required for vesicle transport.

Brinkley is best known for his discovery of the kinetochore, the crescent-shaped, three-layered laminated plate that attaches the center of a duplicated chromosome to microtubule spindle fibers that pull it apart from its "sister" duplicated chromosomes during cell division. This is the culmination of the whole process of DNA replication and thus the basis of growth. Brinkley's work was also critical in the description of the MTOC, the microtubule organizing center, another major piece of cell machinery, and in later work linking MTOC defects to cancer. Brinkley was also the first to successfully employ an immunofluorescent antibody to study tubulin, the family of proteins that combine to generate microtubules.

All three 2014 Wilson Medal winners are longtime ASCB members. Brinkley, who has been a member since 1964, was ASCB President in 1980. Heuser joined the ASCB in 1976 and delivered the prestigious Keith Porter Lecture in 1985. Satir was a founding member of ASCB in 1961 and served on ASCB Council from 1981 to 1983.


Contact: John Fleischman
American Society for Cell Biology

Related medicine news :

1. Seeing is believing: Biologists and physicists produce revealing images of cell organization, behavior
2. UMass Amherst cell biologists identify new protein key to asymmetric cell division
3. UCI microbiologists find new approach to fighting viral illnesses
4. Texas A&M biologists prove ZOLOFT packs potential to fight fungal meningitis
5. The latest in scientific research in childrens health to be presented in Vancouver
6. Real-world heart procedure results consistent with scientific research
7. A scientific first: Physicists, physicians, engineers photograph radiation beams in the human body through the Cherenkov effect
8. Getting a cancer drug to patients takes both scientific and business smarts
9. Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit News: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes Issuance of New Order Pertaining to Discovery in Federal Boston Scientific Litigation
10. Narconon Arrowhead Oklahoma Featured In Scientific Journal for Outcome Monitoring Procedure
11. Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits Move Forward, As Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes New Order in Federal Boston Scientific Litigation
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cell biologists' top scientific honor goes to pioneers of the cytoskeleton
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway ... call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting ... restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its ... Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding ... Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy of ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to ... entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move ... of new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions ... appear on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: