Published April 03 2017


Sumter is first Winthrop provost’s faculty fellow

Winthrop University has named Takita Felder Sumter, professor of chemistry, as its inaugural provost’s faculty fellow.

The Provost’s Faculty Fellows Program recognizes outstanding faculty members by providing them with opportunities for administrative development and leadership. Sumter will represent the office of the provost on special projects and routine office operations.

Sumter is the chair of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Minority Affairs Committee. She is involved in the Interactive Mentoring Activities for Grantsmanship Enhancement initiative to assist early-career scientists who are transitioning to independent faculty positions.


Ravid earns Fulbright Scholar Award

Katya Ravid, professor of medicine and biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine, is a Fulbright Scholar Award recipient. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program promotes excellence in scholarship through grants supporting academic collaboration and exchange around the world. Ravid will matriculate later this year.

Ravid will serve as an adviser at the University of Strasbourg in France, where she will lead interdisciplinary research in hematopoiesis and functions of megakaryocytes and platelets.

Ravid is the founding director of the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research and of the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Office at Boston University. Her research focuses on investigating blood and vascular pathologies.


Wilson heads tribal health research office

David R. Wilson has been appointed as the director of the tribal health research office at the National Institutes of Health.

Established in 2015, the tribal health research office was created to ensure participation and collaboration on NIH policies and programs with tribal nations.

Wilson previously served as a public health adviser and the American Indian/Alaska Native policy lead at the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. He also served on the ASBMB’s Minority Affairs Committee and is an adjunct faculty member of the Center for American Indian Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.


Vrabel recognized for academics and athletics

In December, Jarret Vrabel of Westminster College was named the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s male scholar-athlete of the month at the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

The committee selects one male and one female student-athlete each month who excels both on the field and in the classroom.

A three-year starter on the school’s basketball team, Vrabel is the team’s second-leading scorer while ranking fourth in the conference in rebounding through the team’s first 15 games.

The Westminster College junior is a biochemistry major with a 3.55 cumulative GPA. He is a member of the All-College Honors Program and chemistry club. He also serves as the treasurer of the institution’s student chapter of the ASBMB.


Brunori elected vice president of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei

Maurizio Brunori, professor emeritus of biochemistry at Sapienza University of Rome, was elected vice president of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Italy and president of the class of physical sciences.

Brunori’s primary research interests lie in the study of protein structure, function, folding and dynamics. Among his many honors, Brunori is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member and fellow of the Biophysical Society, and a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization.

The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, founded in 1603, was named after the lynx to represent the acute perception needed for greater scientific insight.


Charpentier and Doudna win Japan Prize

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have received the 2017 Japan Prize for their development of the genome-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9. Awarded since 1985, the Japan Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to science and technology that also promote peace and prosperity for humankind.

CRISPR/Cas9 has revolutionized genetic engineering by allowing for faster and more efficient editing of parts of the genome. CRISPR/Cas9 has shown the potential for a wide range of applications that greatly would affect genetic research.


Charpentier is the director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Germany and a visiting professor at Umeå University in Sweden. Doudna, a professor of chemistry and of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is the Li Ka Shing chancellor’s chair in biomedical science and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Erik Chaulk Erik Chaulk is a peer-review coordinator and digital publications web specialist at the ASBMB.