Published January 05 2017

ASBMB members elected to National Academy of Medicine

Bassler Hazen Sancar Williams
Bassler Hazen Sancar Williams

Bonnie Bassler, Stanley L. Hazen, Aziz Sancar and Michelle A. Williams are among the 79 new members elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Bassler is the Squibb professor and chair of the department of molecular biology at Princeton University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She has received numerous awards for her recent work on quorum sensing.

Hazen holds the Jan Bleeksma chair in vascular cell biology and atherosclerosis and the Leonard Krieger chair in preventative cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic. He has made multiple discoveries that link gut microbial metabolites to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Sancar is the Sarah Graham Kenan professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the circadian clock as well as DNA repair. Sancar won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2015 and the ASBMB’s Bert and Natalie Vallee Award in Biomedical Science in 2016 for his work on DNA repair.

Williams is the dean of the faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She studies reproductive and perinatal epidemiology. Among the research and teaching awards she has received are the American Public Health Association’s Abraham Lilienfeld Award and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Medicine is a nonprofit that addresses policy issues related to health, medicine and science.

Gordon Gordon

Gordon receives Beering Award

Jeffrey I. Gordon, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser distinguished university professor and director of the Center for Genome Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received the Stephen C. Beering Award from the Indiana University School of Medicine for his research on the human microbiome.

Gordon and his students study the genomic and metabolic bases of our relationship with beneficial gut microbes, with a focus on how gut microbial communities form and how they affect nutritional status, notably obesity and childhood malnutrition

Established in 1983, the Beering Award honors the legacy of Steven C. Beering, who served as dean of the medical school from 1974 to 1983 and later as president of Purdue University.

The annual award recognizes an individual whose research has helped to advance biomedical or clinical science. The award carries a $25,000 prize.

Lippard Lippard

Lippard earns Welch award

Stephen J. Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a recipient of the Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry.

Presented by the Welch Foundation, the award seeks to encourage basic chemical research, recognizing individuals who contribute outstanding chemical research to the benefit of humankind.

Lippard is considered a leading figure in the field of bioinorganic chemistry, a discipline that covers both biological and inorganic chemistry. He has contributed significant research on the mechanism of the anti-cancer drug, cisplatin.

Lippard will share the award, which carries a $500,000 purse, with Richard H. Holm of Harvard University.

Bruchas Bruchas

Bruchas and Huganir win BRAIN Initiative grants

Michael Bruchas and Richard Huganir are recipients of the National Institutes of Health’s recent grants to support the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or BRAIN Initiative. In 2013, President Barack Obama introduced the BRAIN Initiative as a means of supporting research to better understand and treat the wide variety of neurological diseases.

Bruchas and Huganir have been recognized as a part of the Tools for Cells and Circuits grant, which supports research designed to develop novel techniques for rapidly identifying cells and genes that control certain brain circuits.

Huganir Huganir

Bruchas is an associate professor in the departments of anesthesiology and neuroscience at the University of Washington in St. Louis. He is developing and validating a broader array of next-gen, optically controlled G-protein–coupled receptors.

Huganir is professor and director of the department of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is developing new genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors to help visualize cell-specific and circuit-specific signaling pathways.

— By Erik Chaulk

Smith Smith

Smith wins lectureship award

Janet L. Smith, the Margaret J. Hunter collegiate professor in the life sciences and professor of biological chemistry at the University of Michigan, has been honored with the university’s Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award in Biomedical Research. Established in 1979 by the Biomedical Research Council, the award is the highest honor bestowed by the medical school upon a faculty member for excellence in biomedical research, teaching and service to the university and the scientific community at large. 

Smith’s numerous accomplishments in structural biology include the development and implementation of methodologies that help us better understand macromolecules. She is a key developer of the multi-/single-wavelength anomalous diffraction technique, most widely used for de novo macromolecular phase determination, and is the scientific director of the GM/CA @ APS beamlines for biological crystallography at the Argonne National Laboratory. Smith became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007 and was the recipient of the National Institutes of Health MERIT award from 1998–2008.

— By Vivian Tang