Member Update

Published July 01 2018

Four elected to academy

Angela M. Gronenborn Natalie Ahn Helen Berman Robert Landick

Four American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members are among the newly elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Angela M. Gronenborn is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Rosalind Franklin professor and chair in the department of structural biology and a distinguished professor of structural biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In her lab, she seeks to understand the structural basis of cellular interactions.

Natalie Ahn is a professor of distinction at the University of Colorado Boulder and outgoing president of the ASBMB; she previously served on the ASBMB Council. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of cell signaling.

Helen Berman is the board of governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University. A co-founder of the Protein Data Bank, Berman specializes in the study of nucleic acids, protein–nucleic acid interactions and collagen.

Robert Landick is a professor in the department of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research explores the structure and function of RNA polymerase.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest academic societies in the United States; it admits leaders from a variety of backgrounds, including the humanities, arts and education as well as science, engineering and technology.

Farnham named interim director

Peggy Farnham has been named interim director of the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Effective June 1, Farnham took over direction of the center, a leading institution in the research, treatment and prevention of cancer. She is co-leader of the epigenetics and regulation program and interim associate director for basic science at the center.

She serves as the William M. Keck professor of biochemistry as well as chair and professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Her research focuses on the study of chromatin regulation and its control of transcription factor binding and function.

Peggy Farnham


Elgin receives faculty award

Sarah C.R. Elgin, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has received the university’s Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award. The award is one of several recognizing the outstanding achievements of members of the university’s faculty.

Elgin is the Viktor Hamburger professor of arts and sciences and is a professor in the department of biology. A member of the Washington University faculty since 1981, her research explores the role of chromatin structure in gene regulation.

Elgin has been involved in several scientific outreach programs, including founding the forerunner to the Institute for School Partnership, an initiative focusing on improving K–12 education.

She also founded the Genomics Education Partnership, a program providing undergraduate students with opportunities to participate in genomics research. Elgin and other faculty award recipients will be honored at a ceremony in October.

Sarah C.R. Elgin


Fliesler named distinguished professor

Steven J. Fliesler has been appointed as a distinguished member of the faculty by the State University of New York.

Fliesler is among 15 faculty members recognized as distinguished professors for significant contributions toward research and scholarship.

He is a professor in the departments of ophthalmology and biochemistry and holds the Meyer H. Riwchun endowed chair in ophthalmology at the University of Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

A leading figure in the field of ophthalmology, Fliesler’s research explores the retina and pathologies that affect vision.

He is a former president of the International Society for Eye Research and recently was elected president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Steven J. Fliesler


Kelly named Gustavus provost/dean

Brenda Kelly is the new provost and dean of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

In this role, Kelly will serve as the chief academic officer for the university, leading the institution’s academic initiatives and strategic planning.

Kelly has been a faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College since 2002. She served as chair of the department of chemistry from 2011 to 2015 and director of the biochemistry and molecular biology program from 2013 to 2014.

She has served as interim provost since 2016 and assumed her new responsibilities in May.

Brenda Kelly


Five named Goldwater scholars

Nicole Pannullo Humza Zubair Trisha Dalapati Stephan George Audrey Short

Five members of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Student Chapters are among the 211 students recognized as Barry Goldwater Scholars.

The Goldwater scholarship program recognizes outstanding college sophomores and juniors in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. Recipients are awarded up to $7,500 to help cover tuition and fees for their education.

Rochester Institute of Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf student Nicole Pannullo is the first deaf RIT student to win this award. Pannullo hopes to earn a Ph.D. in regenerative medicine and develop therapies for genetic disorders.

Humza Zubair, a student at Arizona State University, hopes to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry and biological sciences and then teach and do research.

Trisha Dalapati, a student at the University of Georgia, hopes to earn an M.D./Ph.D. in infectious diseases and then conduct research on pathogeneses of infectious diseases.

Stephan George, a student at the University of Georgia, hopes to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry and then teach and do research on mechanisms of disease progression underlying hereditary neural disorders.

Audrey Short, a student at Miami University in Ohio, hopes to earn a Ph.D. in biophysics and then teach and conduct research.

In memoriam: Yves Louis Marcel

Yves Louis Marcel, professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa, passed away in February. He was 81.

Born in Bordeaux, France, on Feb. 11, 1937, Marcel obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rouen and his Ph.D. from the University of Toulouse.

Marcel worked as a research scientist at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute before joining the faculty at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, where he was a professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine as well as in the department of biochemistry, microbiology and immunology.

In 1992, Marcel formed the Atherosclerosis Research Group at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, serving as chief scientific officer. He also served as director of the High-Density Lipoprotein Biology Laboratory until retiring in 2013.

Marcel spent much of his career studying high-density lipoproteins. He contributed significant research on apolipoprotein A1 structure and reverse cholesterol transport.

Marcel was honored with the Royal Society of Canada’s McLaughlin Medal in 1997 and with an Ottawa Life Sciences Council award in 2001.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth McPherson; their daughter, Gabrielle; and his children, Valerie and Christophe.

Yves Louis Marcel

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