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Plant biologists Siedow and Guilfoyle recognized

James Siedow Thomas Guilfoyle
Siedow Guilfoyle
The American Society of Plant Biologists named two members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as recipients of its 2014 awards, honoring excellence in research, education, outreach and service. James N. Siedow of Duke University won the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award. The Barnes award is the ASPB’s oldest award and was established in 1925 to honor lifelong service in plant biology. Siedow will be recognized and honored for both his stellar research in plant biochemistry and his service to the plant biology community. Siedow has made a large impact in the field of mitochondrial bioenergetics and has been a strong advocate for plant biology research. Thomas J. Guilfoyle of the University of Missouri won the Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research in recognition of his many contributions to plant biology. His work has illuminated new paths of research in plant hormone signaling and has propelled discoveries in plant transcriptional regulation, viral replication and auxin biology. In addition, his dedication and generosity have inspired many plant biologists and students.

Rader named chair of University of Pennsylvania med school

Daniel J. RaderDaniel J. Rader, a leader in human genetics of lipoprotein biology and cardiovascular disease, was named the new chair of the Perelman School of Medicine’s genetics department at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been at Penn for 20 years and holds multiple leadership roles there. In addition to heading the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, Rader serves as associate director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and co-directs the new Penn Medicine BioBank. Rader has had a long interest in Mendelian disorders of lipoprotein metabolism and has a strong translational interest in development of novel therapies for these disorders. Along with numerous awards as a physician-scientist, he has received recognition for his outstanding teaching.

Berkeley Lab’s Adam Arkin wins Lawrence Award

Adam Arkin Biologist Adam Arkin, director of Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division, is one of six recipients of the 2013 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award presented by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. He is recognized as a leading authority on the evolutionary design principles of cellular networks and populations and their application to systems and synthetic biology. The thrust of Arkin’s research has focused on developing physical theory, computational tools and experimental approaches for understanding the cellular processes that are critical to life. The goal is to provide a framework that will facilitate the design and engineering of new functions and behaviors in cells through synthetic and systems biology. The Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Awards were established in 1959 to honor Ernest Lawrence, the Nobel Prize–winning inventor of the particle accelerator known as the cyclotron. Moniz said that the recipients made significant contributions to the national, economic and energy security of the United States, strengthening U.S. leadership in discovery and innovation. Each recipient will receive a medal and a $20,000 honorarium at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this year. Image courtesy of Peg Skorpinski.

Neet appointed to FASEB finance committee

Kenneth NeetKenneth Neet recently was appointed to the finance committee of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Neet is a professor and the associate dean of research at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Illinois. Neet, who studies neurobiology, has served on the editorial boards of many science journals and as a member of study sections for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. In addition, he served many years as an associate editor for the ASBMB’s Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Varshavsky wins Albany Medical Center prize

Alexander VarshavskyAlexander Varshavsky is the 2014 recipient of the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine. The $500,000 award, given annually since 2001, is one of the largest prizes in medicine and science in the United States. Varshavsky is a professor of cell biology at the California Institute of Technology. The focus of his research is the ubiquitin system. He received this award for his landmark discoveries that have transformed our understanding of how cell behavior affects diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders and other illnesses.

Lanier made VP for research at Wayne State

Stephen M. LanierStephen M. Lanier has been appointed Wayne State University’s vice-president for research. Lanier had been the associate provost for research and a professor of cell and molecular pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the Medical University of South Carolina. Lanier has served on multiple review panels for the National Institutes of Health and has developed a number of broad collaborative initiatives across departments and colleges. The president of Wayne State, M. Roy Wilson, stated, “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Lanier to Wayne State. He brings a wealth of talent and experience to this position, including extensive experience in technology transfer.” Lanier expressed his eagerness to join the institution, saying, “Wayne State University has a number of outstanding, internationally recognized research programs and is playing a critical role in the development of the local and regional community.”

In memoriam: Ivana Weygan-Durasevic

Ivana Weygan-DurasevicIvana Weygan-Durasevic passed away April 7 in Zagreb, Republic of Croatia. Born in 1952, Weygan-Durasevic studied chemistry and molecular biology at the University of Zagreb. She joined the university as a faculty member in 1975 and was an internationally recognized expert in the field of tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthases, molecules involved in protein biosynthesis. During her career, she authored more than 70 papers and four book chapters, and in 2005 she received the highly prestigious Croatian National Science Award. Her excellent scientific and teaching career earned her election into the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2012. Weygan-Durasevic is remembered by colleagues as a dedicated teacher, supportive mentor, and collaborator for renowned and internationally recognized scientists.

O’Shea to receive Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine

John J. O'sheaJohn J. O’Shea, scientific director at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine. The award, which includes a $50,000 prize from Feinstein Institute board members Robin and Jack Ross, was given on June 9 at the New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan. The award is given to an active investigator who has produced innovative, paradigm-shifting research that is worthy of significant and broad attention in the field of molecular medicine. O’Shea has been a physician and immunologist at the NIH for 33 years and has made fundamental discoveries related to the signaling of cytokines. His research has focused on the molecular cause of primary immunodeficiencies, inherited conditions in which the immune function is impaired and the genetic basis of autoinflammatory disorders. O’Shea has received numerous awards and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Carman and Dennis
George Carman of Rutgers University, left, in June gave a Journal of Lipid Research-sponsored lecture at a research conference held by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The conference focused on phospholipid cell signaling and metabolism in inflammation and cancer. Carman’s lecture was titled “Phosphatidate phosphatase in lipid signaling.” JLR co-Editor-in-Chief Edward Dennis, right, presented a plaque to Carman in recognition of the prestigious lectureship.
Nicole ParkerNicole Parker ( joined the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in the Meyeroff Scholarship Program in 2007. She earned a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology from UMBC and is currently completing her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where she studies the biological activity of the protein GDNF and its effect on the spermatogonial stem and progenitor cells.