Member update

Published October 01 2018

Charpentier, Doudna win Kavli Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has announced that Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna are among the recipients of the 2018 Kavli Prize in nanoscience.

The Kavli Prizes, Norway’s highest science honors, are presented every two years in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. Each recipient receives $1 million.

Charpentier and Doudna are being honored for their invention of the groundbreaking genetic editing tool CRISPR-Cas9.

Charpentier is scientific director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology and honorary professor at Humbolt University in Berlin.

Doudna, a professor of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, recently opened a lab at the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco where she was appointed a senior investigator.

Doudna and Charpentier shared the nanoscience prize with Virginijus Šikšnys of Vilnius University in Lithuania. The 2018 Kavli Prizes were awarded in September in Oslo.

Emmanuelle Charpentier

Jennifer Doudna


Hanna–Rose receives teaching award

The Pennsylvania State University professor Wendy Hanna–Rose has received the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Established in 1992, the Eisenhower Award is given to a tenured professor who has demonstrated excellence in both teaching and mentoring students.

Mentoring and developing students has played a crucial role in Hanna–Rose’s identity as an educator. She has written that her teaching philosophy “involves self-identity as a coach who provides motivation, prepares drills, supplies feedback, and reiterates the process, all with the aim of promoting student progression from novice to expert.”

Hanna–Rose recently was named head of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State.

Wendy Hanna–Rose

ASBMB member wins lifetime achievement Lasker award

Joan Steitz

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation recently announced the recipients of the 2018 Lasker Awards. Among the four recipients was Joan Argetsinger Steitz, a professor of biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University and member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Steitz received the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science “for four decades of leadership in biomedical science—exemplified by pioneering discoveries in RNA biology, generous mentorship of budding scientists, and vigorous and passionate support of women in science,” according to a release from the foundation. Over her pioneering career in RNA biology, for which she won the Herbert Tabor Research Award in 2015, Steitz has been known as a generous mentor to young scientists and an ardent voice for inclusion in the scientific community. She and the other Lasker Award recipients received their awards on Sept. 24.

Watch Dr. Steitz's Tabor award lecture.

Hochstrasser continues as chair at Yale

Mark Hochstrasser has been reappointed chair of the department of molecular biophysics and biochemistry in the Yale School of Medicine.

Hochstrasser’s appointment is one of four faculty appointments announced in June by the dean of the faculty of arts and sciences at Yale.

Hochstrasser is the Eugene Higgins professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry and a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology.

Research at his lab focuses on the ubiquitin system, one of the fundamental regulatory systems of eukaryotic cells.

Mark Hochstrasser


Lüscher wins faculty scholar medal

Bernhard Lüscher has been awarded the Faculty Scholar Medal in Life Sciences from Penn State.

Faculty Scholar Medals recognize excellence in scholarship and research. Lüscher, professor of biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, is among six faculty members to receive Faculty Scholar Medals.

Lüscher, whose research focuses on gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, is being recognized for achievements in the life sciences and his role in building and developing the neurobiology program at Penn State.

He has served as co-director of the neuroscience graduation program and as interim co-director of the Penn State Neuroscience Institute and currently serves as the founding director of the Center for Molecular Investigation of Neurological Disorders.

Bernhard Lüscher


UC Davis honors Callis for teaching, research

Judy Callis has received the University of California, Davis, Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement.

This award recognizes a UC Davis faculty member for excellence in undergraduate teaching and research and carries a $45,000 prize.

Callis is a professor and vice chair of the department of molecular and cellular biology in the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis.

A plant biologist, Callis’ research focuses on the ubiquitin protein degradation system in plants.

Callis is highly regarded by students and colleagues. Since joining the UC Davis faculty in 1989, she has taught a number of biochemistry courses, including BIS 103, one in a series of classes taken by most undergraduates in the College of Biological Sciences.

Judy Callis


Kopchicks give $23M to Indiana University

Char and John Kopchick

John and Char Kopchick will give $23 million to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the largest gift in the history of the university.

The alumni couple’s gift is part of the university’s Imagine Unlimited fundraising campaign, which has increased its initial goal of $40 million to $75 million.

The Kopchicks are providing funds to support the university’s science and mathematics initiatives, which include a new science building, scholarships and endowed professorships.

John Kopchick is a professor of molecular biology at Ohio University and co-inventor of Somavert, a drug used to treat the growth hormone disorder acromegaly. Char Kopchick serves as the assistant dean of students at Ohio University.

Ozber receives teaching award

Penn State graduate student Natali Ozber has won the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award.

Ozber has been teaching at Penn State for about a year and has been praised for her dedication and passion for teaching.

A doctoral candidate in plant biology, Ozber completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees in engineering at Koç University in Istanbul.

Her research focuses on plant viruses and how these viruses move inside of plants, causing infection. She received a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Graduate Student Competitive Grant for her work.

In addition to her lessons in the classroom, Ozber has been involved with various outreach programs, including the Graduate Women in Science and the Upward Bound programs.

Natali Ozber

Bostwick, Mineo and Boettiger win Beckman awards

Alicia Bostwick

Charlotte Mineo

Alistair Boettiger

Alicia Bostwick, Charlotte Mineo and Alistair Boettiger are among the 2018 Beckman award recipients.

Alicia Bostwick and Charlotte Mineo have been recognized as part of the Beckman Scholars Program, which honors outstanding undergraduate students in chemistry, biochemistry and the biological sciences at select universities across the United States.

The 2018 Beckman Scholars awards include more than $1.5 million in funding for 58 undergraduate students at 12 universities.

A biology major from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, Alicia Bostwick is being honored for her project investigating mechanisms of regulation of mitochondrial DNA transcription.

Charlotte Mineo, a biochemistry major from Union College in Schenectady, New York, is being honored for her research on changes in the catalytic activity of schizophyllum commune metacaspases in response to impaired calcium binding.

Stanford University researcher Alistair Boettiger has received the Beckman Young Investigators Award for his project on highly multiplexed super-resolution imaging of chromatin structure. This award provides support to early-career faculty members who demonstrate excellence in the chemical and life sciences.

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