Member update

Published August 01 2018

Garcia wins Biemann Medal

Benjamin A. Garcia, presidential professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has received the 2018 Biemann Medal.

Presented by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, the Biemann Medal is an early-career award recognizing significant research in basic or applied mass spectrometry. The award carries a $5,000 cash prize.

The ASMS honored Garcia for research contributing to the understanding of the histone code, the set of post-translational modifications in histone proteins that are involved in gene expression. Garcia’s lab has developed novel mass spectrometry analysis techniques for proteomics research.

The award was presented at the ASMS Annual Conference in June.

Benjamin A. Garcia


Grimes, Shoulders win Dreyfus honors

Catherine L. Grimes and Matthew D. Shoulders are among 13 young educators selected as 2018 Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholars.

The Dreyfus Foundation awards program recognizes outstanding young faculty members in the chemical sciences. Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholars are chosen for demonstrating leadership in both research and education.

Catherine L. Grimes is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Delaware. Her research explores the breaking down and building up of bacterial cell walls to understand inflammation.

Matthew D. Shoulders is the Whitehead career development associate professor in the department of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Shoulders’ lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of protein folding and evolution in living cells.

Award winners each receive an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.

Catherine Grimes
Matthew Shoulders

McMaster to lead genetics institute

Christopher McMaster has been appointed scientific director for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Genetics.

The Institute of Genetics is one of 13 virtual institutes that make up the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. A network of researchers and scientists, the IG supports research on all aspects of genetics, basic biochemistry and cell biology related to health and disease.

As scientific director, McMaster will focus on identifying research priorities and funding opportunities as well as developing scientific policy.

McMaster is professor and head of the department of pharmacology at Dalhousie University and serves as director of the Cheminformatics Drug Discovery Lab. He is co-founder and CEO of the pharmaceutical company DeNovaMed, which develops therapeutic treatments for bacterial infections.

McMaster assumed his role July 1.

Chris McMaster


Fuchs named to pontifical academy

Pope Francis has appointed Elaine Fuchs to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Headquartered in Vatican City, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences promotes research and policy across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines.

Fuchs is a professor and head of the laboratory of mammalian cell biology and development at the Rockefeller University. She also serves as an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Highly regarded for her research on the biology of skin stem cells, Fuchs’ lab explores the molecular mechanisms by which skin stem cells make and repair tissues. She is working to develop therapeutic treatments that target cancer stem cells without affecting tissue stem cells.

Elaine Fuchs


Baumann win research prize

Peter Baumann has received an Alexander von Humboldt professorship at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany’s highest endowed research prize.

An expert in the field of chromosome biology, Baumann’s research focuses on the study of telomeres. He has made significant contributions to the study of aging, cancer and evolutionary biology.

He previously held positions at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

Along with the construction of new research facilities and realignment of the faculty of biology, this professorship award represents a move toward establishing Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz as a pre-eminent leader in biomedical research.

Peter Baumann


Schnell elected to Latin American Academy of Sciences

Santiago Schnell has been elected as a foreign corresponding fellow to the Latin American Academy of Sciences. The Latin American Academy of Sciences is a nonprofit organization established to promote scientific research and development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Schnell is the interim department chair and John A. Jacquez collegiate professor of physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Schnell’s research aims to develop standards-based methods in biology and medicine to obtain high-quality measurements.

Schnell is one of six foreign corresponding fellows elected in 2018. The academy now has 235 members who have distinguished themselves through their excellence in scientific research.

Peter Schnell

NAS elects new members

Natalie Ahn Roger J. Davis Sarah C.R. Elgin Michael Gottesman Daniel Herschlag
Karolin Luger Andrej Sali David G. Schatz Eva-Mari Aro Tomas Lindahl

Ten members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are among the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Comprising 2,382 members and 484 foreign associates, the NAS inducts new members in recognition of novel scientific research.

The newly elected members include:
Natalie G. Ahn, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, University of Colorado Boulder and immediate past president of the ASBMB;
Roger J. Davis, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and professor of molecular medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester;
Sarah C. R. Elgin, professor of biology and of genetics and education, Washington University in St. Louis;
Michael M. Gottesman, deputy director for intramural research, National Institutes of Health, and chief, laboratory of cell biology, National Cancer Institute, NIH;
Daniel Herschlag, professor of biochemistry, professor of chemistry and chemical engineering and ChEM-H Institute fellow, Stanford University;
Karolin Luger, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, University of Colorado Boulder;
Andrej Sali, professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences and associate dean, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco; and
David G. Schatz, professor of immunobiology and molecular biophysics and biochemistry, Yale School of Medicine.

The newly elected foreign associates include:
Eva-Mari Aro, professor of molecular plant biology, University of Turku, Finland, and
Tomas Lindahl, emeritus group leader, Francis Crick Institute, London.

Stillman awarded honorary degree

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory president and CEO Bruce W. Stillman received an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson University in May.

This honorary degree, Stillman’s sixth, recognizes his achievements in the study of DNA replication. A biochemist and cancer researcher, Stillman studies the mechanism and regulation of DNA and chromatin duplication in cells.

Stillman began his career at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1979 as a postdoctoral fellow. He succeeded Nobel laureate James D. Watson as director in 1994 and was appointed president in 2003.

Among his numerous accolades, Stillman received the ASBMB’s Herbert Tabor Research Award in 2014.

Bruce W. Stillman

Walker appointed to ChromaDex board

Nobel laureate John Walker has been appointed to the ChromaDex scientific advisory board.

Walker joins ChromaDex to aid in the research and development of new applications for nicotinamide riboside and mitochondrial health.

Globally recognized in the field of chemistry, Walker was one of three researchers jointly awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in chemistry for elucidating the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. He was knighted in 1999 for his contributions to molecular biology.

Walker serves as the emeritus director of the Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit at the University of Cambridge.

ChromaDex is a nutraceutical company working to develop therapies to improve the way people age.

John Walker


Schulman, Luger elected to EMBO

Brenda A. Schulman and Karolin Luger are among the new members and associate members elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization.

The EMBO, comprising more than 1,800 scientists, promotes research and collaboration in the life sciences.

Members are life scientists who reside within the 17 European Molecular Biology Conference member states, while associate members reside outside the member states.

Schulman, director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, has been elected as a member. Schulman’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms and functions of the ubiquitin system.

Luger, professor and the Jennie Smoly Caruthers endowed chair of biochemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been elected as an associate member. Her research explores the structure and function of chromatin.

Brenda Schulman
Karolin Luger

Read receives chancellor’s award

Laurie Read has received a 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Read is professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo.

Chancellor’s awards recognize outstanding achievements of faculty and staff members at the State University of New York in the areas of faculty service, librarianship, professional service, scholarship and creative activities, and teaching.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities is given to faculty members whose scholarly and creative efforts go beyond their teaching responsibilities.

Read’s research lies in the fields of parasitology and microbiology, where she focuses on the study of trypanosome cell and molecular biology. She has published two book chapters and more than 70 peer-reviewed papers.

Additionally, she has served as a member of two study sections with the National Institutes of Health.

Laurie Read


DuBois, Arnst win EXCEL awards

Jennifer DuBois and John Arnst have been honored by Association & Media Publishing for work published in ASBMB Today in 2018.

DuBois, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Montana State University and secretary of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, won a gold EXCEL award for her essay “ Disappointed — by cancer,” which kicked off the ongoing series “When Science Meets Sickness” in September. She has written a number of essays for the magazine.

Arnst, ASBMB Today’s science writer, won a bronze EXCEL award for his feature article “ Mouse lemurs — a model in the wild,” published in November. He has written features about a variety of topics over the past two years, including kratom, health disparities and Parkinson’s disease.

Association & Media Publishing is a membership organization serving the needs of association, nonprofit and alumni publishing teams. The awards were presented in June.

Jennifer DuBois
John Arnst

In memoriam: Eric Shooter

Eric Shooter, professor emeritus of neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, passed away in March at the age of 93.

Shooter was born in a village north of Nottingham, England, on April 18, 1924. He studied chemistry at the University of Cambridge, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1945, his master’s degree in 1946 and his Ph.D. in 1949.

He held several positions in the U.S. and the United Kingdom before he was appointed as a U.S. Public Health Service international fellow with the department of biochemistry at Stanford’s school of medicine in 1961.

At Stanford, he served as an associate professor of genetics and a full professor of biochemistry and of genetics. Shooter became the founding chair of the department of neurobiology in 1975, a position he held until 1987. He also chaired the school’s doctoral program in neurosciences from 1972 through 1982.

Shooter was highly regarded for his research on the structure and mechanisms of neurotrophins. He was the first person to characterize the neurotrophin nerve growth factor, which plays a significant role in restoring damaged nerve cells.

He was also a mentor for numerous young scientists throughout his career.

Eric Shooter

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