JBC/Tabor award winners to speak
at annual meeting

Published March 01 2019

The 2019 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Meeting in Orlando will include talks on Tuesday, April 9, by five winners of the 2019 Journal of Biological Chemistry/Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Awards.

“These are young scientists who have already made outstanding achievements that they will share during the JBC symposium,” said George DeMartino, professor of physiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a JBC associate editor. “This is an opportunity to see the plenary lecturers of tomorrow at an early stage of their careers.”

The awards, named for Herb Tabor, who served as JBC’s editor-in-chief from 1971 to 2012, recognize early-career first authors of standout JBC papers published the previous year for their creativity and scientific excellence.

For this year’s awards, a committee of JBC associate editors reviewed nominated articles, all Editors’ Picks, from 2018. After consulting experts in the field and evaluating the quantitative impact of the papers, the committee selected six award-winning first authors.

“We are very pleased to celebrate these early-career investigators who have authored top-notch papers in JBC that report exciting and significant research,” said Lila Gierasch, distinguished professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and editor-in-chief of JBC.

At the ASBMB annual meeting in Orlando, five of the six award winners will give talks about their research findings, which span a diverse array of topics within biological chemistry.

The 2019 JBC/Tabor Award winners

Eugene Serebryany Eugene Serebryany, a postdoctoral fellow in Eugene Shakhnovich’s lab at Harvard University, has developed a new model for how crystalline proteins aggregate and cause cataract disease.
Margaret Wangeline Margaret Wangeline, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, found that binding to a downstream prduct drives allosteric misfolding of a sterol biosynthesis enzyme and targets it for degradation.
Fernando Damasceno Fernando Damasceno, an adjunct professor at the Federal University of Vale do São Francisco, uncovered a new role for the labile iron pool as an antioxidant that competes with the oxidant peroxynitrite.
Caroline Soliman Caroline Soliman, a graduate researcher in Paul Ramsland’s group at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, determined the structural basis for how an antibody recognizes polysaccharides on microbial surfaces and in biofilms, making it protective during infections.
Sandeep Eswarappa Sandeep Eswarappa, an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, developed a model that suggested that increased cellular demand for proline and depletion of glutamine around 1 billion years ago drove the fusion of two enzymes to form the bifunctional glutamyl-prolyl-tRNA synthetase.
  Kirstine Lavrsen, a postdoctoral researcher with the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen, identified an enzyme that converts normal colon into cancerous tissue by attaching a sugar to certain cellular proteins. (Lavrsen is unable to attend this year’s ASBMB annual meeting but is scheduled to speak at the 2020 meeting. (We will profile her next year.)