Published August 08 2016


Zeitlinger receives Neaves Award

Julia Zeitlinger, associate investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo., received the 2015 Neaves Award for her innovative approach to studying genome regulation.

The Neaves Award comes with a two-year, $150,000 prize and supports Stowers researchers who are pursuing high-risk research projects that have the potential to make a broad impact.

Zeitlinger will use the award to refine a technique that gives an accurate picture of how protein factors bind to the genome. She hopes that further work on the technique, called ChIP-nexus, will result in researchers being able to analyze binding in populations of cells too small for other technologies to characterize.

Zeitlinger has been a Pew scholar and a recipient of the National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award.


Pieter Dorrestein named a Blavatnik Award Finalist

Pieter Dorrestein at the University of California, San Diego, was chosen as a 2016 Blavatnik National Award finalist in chemistry.

The Blavatnik National Awards, administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, celebrate young researchers who are driving scientific innovation and investigating complex scientific questions. Finalists are selected from more than 300 nominees representing the three disciplines of chemistry, physical sciences and engineering, and life sciences. Finalists compete for three national laureate spots, one for each discipline, worth $250,000.

Dorrestein uses mass spectrometry techniques to study microbes and microbial communities. A recipient of the Beckman, Hearst Foundation, PhRMA Foundation Research and Abel Pharmacology awards, Dorrestein is the director of the Collaborative Mass Spectrometry Innovation Center. He was named a scientist to watch by the magazine The Scientist while Nature defined him as “the man who can map the chemicals all over your body.”

-Written by Courtney Chandler


Cohen named Weill division chief

David E. Cohen has been named Vincent Astor distinguished professor of medicine and chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Cohen, whose appointment began in July, will support the division of gastroenterology and hepatology’s mission to provide excellence in clinical care and education and grow the research programs of the department. Formerly director of hepatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Robert H. Ebert professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard–MIT division of health sciences and technology, Cohen is a physician-scientist whose research examines the molecular regulation of hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism.


Greider and Marletta elected to APS

Carol W. Greider and Michael A. Marletta have been elected to the American Philosophical Society. Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosophical Society is a scholarly organization that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities. The organization supports research and discovery through grants, fellowships and prizes and encourages fellowship among scientists, humanists and civic leaders.

Each year, the APS nominates new members from a wide variety of scholarly and academic disciplines who have distinguished themselves through their intellectual achievements.


Greider is a Daniel Nathans Professor, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, and director of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A renowned researcher in the field of genetics, Greider won a Nobel Prize in 2009 for discovering how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

Marletta is a professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology and holds the CH and Annie Li Chair in the molecular biology of diseases at the University of California, Berkeley. Marletta’s lab studies protein function and enzyme reaction mechanisms. Last year he was awarded the Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry for his research accomplishments.


Steven co-authors textbook

Alasdair Steven is co-author of the new book “ Molecular Biology of Assemblies and Machines.”

Published by Garland Science and intended for advanced undergraduates, graduate students and researchers in biochemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, biophysics, cell biology and microbiology, the textbook explores the structures of macromolecular complexes and how they assemble and interact. Steven and his co-author examine molecular mechanisms involving individual macromolecules such as proteins, RNA and DNA, and cells and organelles.

The current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Structural Biology, Steven is a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Structural Biology Research at the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, where he leads a team that explores the structure–function–assembly relationships of macromolecular complexes by cryo-electron microscopy.


Huganir named president of Society for Neuroscience

Richard Huganir, professor and director for the department of neuroscience and professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology and molecular sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been elected president of the Society for Neuroscience. The SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians who study the brain and nervous system.

Huganir heads a lab at Hopkins focused on the mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. As director of the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute at Johns Hopkins and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, Huganir will use his leadership experience to further the society’s mission to promote and advance neuroscience. His term begins in November.

-Written by Erik Chaulk