Member Update

Bishop wins Nathans memorial award

Bishop Bishop

Nobel laureate J. Michael Bishop won the Van Andel Research Institute’s Daniel Nathans Memorial Award. He gave his public award lecture, titled “Uncovering the Deepest Secret of the Cancer Cell,” in December. Bishop, along with Harold Varmus, won in 1989 the Nobel for medicine or physiology for the discovery of proto-oncogenes, which give rise to cancer. Bishop and Varmus also shared the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the National Medal of Science. “Dr. Bishop is an exemplary scientist whose contributions to cancer research cannot be overstated,” said Peter Jones, VARI’s research director, in a statement. “His work has had a significant impact on biomedical research and on human health and aligns perfectly with the spirit of the Daniel Nathans Memorial Award.” The institute established the award in 2000 in honor of Daniel Nathans, whose work on simian virus 40 resulted in the development of recombinant DNA and who served as a founding member of the institute’s board of scientific advisors.

In memoriam: Max Schlamowitz

Max Schlamowitz, a biochemist, teacher and lifelong music lover, died in January at the age of 94. Schlamowitz dedicated most of his career to studying the molecular bases for the transmission of antibodies across membranes. A New Yorker by birth and raising, Schlamowitz earned his bachelor’s degree at the City College of New York and his master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Then, at the University of Rochester, he was in the toxicology unit of the Manhattan Project. He next joined the then-Sloan–Kettering Institute and the Roswell Park Memorial Institute. Later, he joined the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he conducted research and taught until retirement. Schlamowitz was a supporter of the musical arts and known to enjoy the opera, symphony, chamber music and, in particular, the violin. He had been a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 1953.

In memoriam: John H. Weisburger

Weisburger Weisburger

John H. Weisburger, a research professor of pathology at the New York Medical College, in Valhalla, N.Y., died in early 2014 at the age of 92. A cancer specialist, Weisburger made special contributions to our understanding of the mechanism of 2-acetylaminofleorene. Weisburger entered the science world in the mid-1940s, earning his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati. He joined the National Cancer Institute in 1950 as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service. There he conducted studies of how environmental insults change the structure and function of DNA and eventually took the reins of the Carcinogen Screening Section and, later, the Bioassay Carcinogenesis Programs. He then joined the American Health Foundation and directed his attention to nutrition and cancer.  Weisburger served on several editorial boards and won numerous awards over the years. In 2013, the American Association for Cancer Research named him as a member of its inaugural class of fellows. He had been a member of the ASBMB since 1959.

confronting contagionMadness and MemoryIn Search of Cell History

Melvin Santer has published a new book, “Confronting Contagion: Our Evolving Understanding of Disease,” with Oxford University Press. Nobel laureate Stanley B. Prusiner’s book about prions, “Madness and Memory,” was published by Yale University Press. Franklin M. Harold’s book about the origin of cells, “In Search of Cell History,” was published by the University of Chicago Press. If you have author a new book, please contact us.