Ohsumi Ohsumi

Ohsumi wins Breakthrough Prize

Yoshinori Ohsumi at the Tokyo Institute of Technology was one of the 2017 recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. The prize is worth $3 million.

Ohsumi was honored for his groundbreaking work elucidating the molecular mechanisms of autophagy, the process by which cells deconstruct and recycle cellular components.

The Breakthrough Prizes were established in 2012 by Google co-founder Sergey Brin; CEO and co-founder of 23andme Anne Wojcicki; entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner; Milner’s wife, Julia, who is an artist and a photographer; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg; and his wife, philanthropist and pediatrician Priscilla Chan. The prizes recognize outstanding achievement in life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics.

Ohsumi’s work on autophagy also garnered him the 2016 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. In the December issue of ASBMB Today, John Arnst, ASBMB Today’s science writer, explored in the cover story how Ohsumi’s work opened up new avenues for investigation in cellular and molecular biology.

Fuchs Fuchs

Fuchs wins Vanderbilt prize

Elaine Fuchs, the Rebecca C. Lancefield professor and head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at The Rockefeller University, is the 2016 recipient of the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science.

The Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science, awarded since 2006, recognizes women who have significantly advanced medical research and have mentored other women in the scientific community.

A pioneer in the field of stem-cell research, Fuchs is being recognized for her novel use of reverse genetics as a tool to better understand skin diseases and cancer stem cells.

Fuchs will receive the prize on March 30, when she will deliver a lecture as a part of the Flexner Discovery Lecture Series.

Forsburg Forsburg

Forsburg earns mentoring award

Susan L. Forsburg, the Gabilan distinguished professor in science and engineering and a professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California, has received the midcareer 2016 Nature Award for Mentoring in Science. Nature awards two prizes of $10,000, recognizing outstanding midcareer and lifetime contributions toward scientific mentorship. Forsburg’s research explores how DNA replication contributes to genome stability, using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as a model. She mentors students and postdocs not just in her USC laboratory but more broadly in the community.

The prizes, which have been given out annually since 2005, focus on particular geographical regions each year. The 2016 awards are concentrated on the U.S. West Coast, specifically in the states of Washington, Oregon and California.

In memoriam: Klaus Kuettner

Klaus Kuettner, former chair of the department of biochemistry at Rush University from 1980 to 2002, died in May. He was 82.

Originally born in a part of Germany that is now in Poland, Kuettner immigrated to the U.S. around 1962 after obtaining his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Berne.

In 1964, he joined Presbyterian–St. Luke’s Hospital, which later merged with Rush Medical College, beginning his 52-year career at Rush.

Kuettner rose from a junior faculty position to chairman of the department of biochemistry, where he served as a mentor to both his students and his peers. As a researcher, Kuettner was highly regarded for his work on cartilage.

He is survived by his wife, Erzsebet, and his brother, Wolfdieter, as well as his two stepdaughters, Monica Adler–Werner and Vanessa Adler–Schecter.

ASBMB members elected as AAAS fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has elected 46 members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as fellows for distinguished scientific achievement during their careers. Chosen by their peers, these members have demonstrated outstanding achievements in scientific research, education or leadership.

The AAAS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of science through enhancing communication among scientists as well as promoting scientific education and policy. These new fellows will be recognized at the AAAS annual meeting this month.

Congratulations to the following individuals:

Section on agriculture, food and renewable resources

Alice C. Harmon, University of Florida

Section on biological sciences

Janet L. Stein, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Ali Shilatifard, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Zu-Hang Sheng, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Martin A. Schwartz, Yale University

Karla J. F. Satchell, Northwestern University

A. Gururaj Rao, Iowa State University

Kathleen Postle, Pennsylvania State University

James C. Paulson, The Scripps Research Institute

Krishna K. Niyogi, Howard Hughes Medical Institute/University of California, Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Mona Nemer, University of Ottawa

Michael S. Marks, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute/University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Jane B. Lian, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Terri Goss Kinzy, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Yibin Kang, Princeton University

Jerard Hurwitz, Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center

Timothy T. Hla, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, University of California, Davis

Jack J. Hawiger, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Phyllis I. Hanson, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Wei Gu, Columbia University

Geoffrey L. Greene, University of Chicago

Max E. Gottesman, Columbia University

Joel M. Goodman, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Thomas E. Dever, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

William A. Cramer, Purdue University

Xiaodong Cheng, University of Texas Health Science Center

Junjie Chen, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

David A. Brow, University of Wisconsin–Madison

David L. Brautigan, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Paul Babitzke, Pennsylvania State University

José M. Argüello, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Steven R. Goodman, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Ralph B. Arlinghaus, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Section on chemistry

James B. Ames, University of California, Davis

Mark R. Chance, Case Western Reserve University

Catherine E. Costello, Boston University School of Medicine

Julie T. Millard, Colby College

Section on medical sciences

Peter Lobel, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Christopher J. Molloy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

David J. Tweardy, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Edward T.H. Yeh, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Section on neuroscience

Jesús Avila, CSIC–Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Roger J. Colbran, Vanderbilt University

Yueming Li, Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center

Henry L. Paulson, University of Michigan

Benjamin L. Wolozin, Boston University School of Medicine

Erik Chaulk Erik Chaulk is a peer-review coordinator at the ASBMB.