Hobbs wins Pearl Meister Greengard Prize


Helen Hobbs, a professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, won The Rockefeller University’s Pearl Meister Greengard Prize.

The prize honors exceptional female scientists. Rachel Maddow, host of the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, presented Hobbs with the award. Hobbs received the prize for her breakthrough research on the genetics of high cholesterol and heart disease. Her work has led to the development of new treatments for heart and liver disease and of cholesterol-lowering drugs that won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval this summer.

Nobel laureate Paul Greengard donated the monetary share of his Nobel Prize to create the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize along with sculptor Ursula von Rydinsvard and others. When asked about her success during the award ceremony, Hobbs said, “Science is like surfing. Sometimes you’re in whitewater, going nowhere, and nothing is working. Then suddenly, you catch a wave. Those are the moments you really hold on to.”

Hobbs, who is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, recently also won the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. She has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Charpentier, Fuchs, and Eisenberg win Vallee Visiting Professorships

Charpentier Fuchs Eisenberg
Charpentier Fuchs Eisenberg

Three American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members — Emanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute, Elaine Fuchs of The Rockefeller University and David Eisenberg of the University of California, Los Angeles — won 2016 Vallee Visiting Professorships from the Vallee Foundation.

The Vallee Foundation supports senior scientists in taking time away from their labs and institutions to pursue research and build relationships with institutes anywhere in the world.

Charpentier is director of the Max Planck Institute of Infection Biology in Berlin and, with her collaborator Jennifer Doudna, characterized the CRISPR-Cas 9 system, a bacterial defense mechanism that can cleave and edit foreign DNA.

Fuchs is the Rebecca Lancefield professor in mammalian cell biology and development at the Rockefeller University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She has done pivotal work on stem cells and is one of the first scientists to characterize a cancer stem cell. Her work on how skin stem cells communicate has led to clinically important discoveries for cancer, skin burns and wound repair.

Eisenberg is the Paul D. Boyer professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an HHMI investigator. He holds half a dozen patents, and his work on protein interaction has led to determining the structure of the toxic core of the alpha-synuclein protein, which is linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Written by Jacqueline Lantsman

Lemmon named Sackler Professor at Yale


Former American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology secretary Mark Lemmon has been named the David A. Sackler professor of pharmacology at Yale University. His is one of three new professorships funded through the Richard Sackler Family Endowment in Medicine. Lemmon, who was chair of the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania from 2008–2015, joined the faculty at Yale in June and also recently was named co-director of the Yale Cancer Biology Institute, which, when it opens, will bring together 120 researchers to examine the molecular causes of cancer and search for new targets. Lemmon received both his M.Phil. and his Ph.D. from Yale before completing a postdoc at the New York University Medical Center. He served for 19 years on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where he was an investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and the George W. Raiziss professor of biochemistry and biophysics. Lemmon’s research focuses on receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathways and their effects on cell growth, which have implications for cancer research.

Written by Alexandra Taylor