January 2011

ASBMB Member Update

In memoriam: Philip Person

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular biology member Philip Person passed away on Sept. 16, 2010.

Person was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1919. He attended Boy’s High School in Brooklyn and graduated with a degree in chemistry from the City College of New York in 1940. After obtaining his dental degree from New York University, he earned his doctorate in biochemistry with Walter Wainio at Rutgers University.

Person served in the U.S. Armed Forces at Edgewood Arsenal during World War II and as a research scientist at Walter Reed Army Hospital during the Korean War. He spent his career as chief of the Special Research Laboratory for Oral Metabolism at the Brooklyn VA Hospital and served on the dental school faculties of New York University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He served as a consultant to the World Health Organization of the United Nations. Person also was a summer scientist at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, conducting research there for more than 50 years. After retiring from the Veteran’s Administration in 1985, Person became a biomedical consultant.

Massagué and Sharp named Rock Stars of Science

Joan Massagué, chairman of the cancer biology and genetics program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Phillip A. Sharp, institute professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have been named 2010 Rock Stars of Science.

The two scientists join 15 of the nation’s top medical researchers and eight celebrity musicians— rock icons Debbie Harry (Blondie), Bret Michaels, Timbaland, Keri Hilson, Heart (Anne and Nancy Wilson), Jay Sean and B.o.B— in a special six-page public service campaign that appears in GQ Magazine’s December “Men of the Year” edition. Each photo set is a tribute to scientific heroes in fields like translational cancer research, Alzheimer’s/neuro-imaging/prevention trials, heart disease/integrative medicine, autism, rare diseases, stem cell research, global health and space age research.

The campaign, now in its second year, is sponsored by Geoffrey Beene Gives Back®, GQ Magazine and the Entertainment Industry Foundation/SU2C.

“The RSOS campaign shines the spotlight on this critical national issue,” said G. Thompson Hutton, CEO and trustee of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, in a press release. “If we invest in research, we will save lives now and trillions of dollars later.”

“Scientists must venture outside their comfort zones to show the public how cool— and how important— their work really is,” said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health and one of the 2009 Rock Stars of Science. “I’m thrilled to see all of these big-name musicians using their star power to shine a spotlight on science. However, it is only the beginning. I urge every scientist to get into the act by telling friends, neighbors, community leaders, and elected officials about his or her research and what it means for our nation’s health. Imagine how powerful that would be.”

To read more about the scientists and to celebrate your own “Rock Doc,” go to the Rock Stars of Science website


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