January 2011

George Stark to give 2011 annual meeting opening lecture

George R. Stark, the distinguished scientist of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and emeritus professor of genetics at Case Western Reserve University, is the recipient of the society’s 2011 Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry lectureship.


“It is a very special honor to receive any award named for Herb Tabor. I feel privileged, but also humbled, to join the outstanding group of biochemists who have received the Tabor award previously.” – GEORGE R. STARK

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has announced that George R. Stark, the distinguished scientist of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and emeritus professor of genetics at Case Western Reserve University, is the recipient of the society’s 2011 Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry lectureship.

The lectureship recognizes outstanding lifetime scientific achievements and was established to honor the many contributions of Herbert Tabor to both the society and the journal, for which he has served as editor for nearly 40 years.

Stark will be the eighth person so honored, joining a luminous group of recipients that includes the 2010 awardee, Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp.

“George Stark has been a leader and pioneer in basic and applied research,” said Charles E. Samuel, the Charles A. Storke II professor of biochemistry and virology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a longtime colleague of Stark’s. “He has been a superb scientist personifying many of the characteristics of Herb Tabor. Recognition with our lectureship would be a most fitting tribute to Stark’s numerous seminal contributions.”

Those contributions span many fields, influencing the understanding not only of basic biochemistry but also the specialized fields of gene regulation and cell signaling, which have further implications for immunity and cancer. Those landmark discoveries began during his early work on enzyme mechanisms and protein chemistry, at which time he developed the foundational Northern and Western techniques that detect specific nucleic acids and proteins, respectively.

About the Award

The Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship was established by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to recognize the many contributions of Herbert Tabor to the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the society. Stark will present his award lecture, titled “Genetic Analysis of Signaling Pathways in Human Cells,” at 6 p.m. on April 9 at the 2011 annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

You can view award presentations from the 2010 ASBMB annual meeting in our archive.

Although initially designed for his particular studies, the techniques are now used worldwide in research and clinical scenarios. More recently, Stark co-discovered gene amplification in mammalian cells and the Jak-Stat signaling cascade, a major pathway that mediates cellular responses to signals sent by the immune system.

A native of New York City, Stark earned his doctorate in chemistry from Columbia University in 1959. He then served as a research associate and assistant professor at Rockefeller University alongside renowned biochemists William Stein and Sanford Moore. After moving to Stanford University in 1963, he became a full professor in 1971. From 1983 to 1992, he worked at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London (now Cancer Research UK) as a senior scientist and later as the associate director of research. In 1992, he relocated to the Cleveland Clinic, where he continues his research today.

Please feel free to send a congratulatory email to George R. Stark or leave him a note in the comment space below.

Nick Zagorski (nzagorski@asbmb.org) is a science writer at ASBMB.

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