January 2011

ASBMB Member Update

SmithSmith named R&D Scientist of the Year

Richard D. Smith, director of the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Technology Resource Center for Integrative Biology and the U.S. Department of Energy High Throughput Proteomics Facility at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been named a 2010 Scientist of the Year by R&D Magazine.

Smith’s research has contributed numerous fundamental advances to mass spectrometry and proteomics. He helped introduce advanced microanalytical separations and accurate MS instrumentation and techniques for quantitative, ultra-sensitive, high-resolution rapid measurements of proteins and other biomolecules in complex biological systems. Smith’s work has addressed Parkinson’s disease, cancer and biofuels production, and during the past five years, his contributions to proteomics measurements have laid critical groundwork for breakthrough advances in systems biology.

Most recently, Smith developed a next-generation proteomics measurement platform that utilizes ion mobility separations to reduce proteome analysis times from several hours to several minutes.

“I’m surprised and pleased at the honor, and happy to be in such great company,” said Smith in a news release. “And I’m especially grateful to the incredibly talented team of researchers at the lab who I have been able to work with.”

WootenIn memoriam: Marie W. Wooten

Marie W. Wooten, former editorial board member for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, passed away on Nov. 5, 2010 after being struck by a vehicle.

Wooten earned her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Memphis in 1979 and her doctorate in cell and molecular biosciences from Texas Women’s University in 1983. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Georgia, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She joined Auburn University in 1987 as a faculty member in the department of biological sciences in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. She served as head of the department from 1995— 1997 and in 2000 became associate dean of research for the college, a position she held until becoming dean in 2010. She also was the recipient of the Scharnagel professorship at AU.

In her role as associate dean of research, Wooten guided the creation of multiple innovative programs, enhanced interdisciplinary research, developed strategic partnerships and sought to diversify the college’s research portfolio. Widely recognized for her contributions as a mentor, scientist, scholar and academic administrator, Wooten was committed to student training and outreach. She was cofounder of the Institute for Women in Sciences and Engineering and also a member of the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program, which focuses on enhancing diversity in STEM fields.

Wooten’s research interests included cellular and molecular developmental neurobiology and neurodegeneration. In a study that had entered its second decade, Wooten discovered a protein molecule in the brain that could prove to be a key in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

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