May 2011

Member Update


Clore receives Hillebrand Prize

G. Marius Clore, chief of the protein NMR section at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, received the Hillebrand Prize from the Chemical Society of Washington section of the American Chemical Society.

The annual award for original contributions to the science of chemistry by CSW members is named for William F. Hillebrand, one of Washington’s most distinguished chemists.

Clore’s research focuses on solution studies on the structure and dynamics of proteins, protein-protein complexes and protein-nucleic acid complexes using multidimensional NMR spectroscopy and on the development and application of novel NMR and computational methods to aid in these studies. Specifically, he studies complexes involved in signal transduction and transcriptional regulation and on AIDS and AIDS-related proteins. In addition to his NMR work, Clore also is engaged in a major effort relating to the development of potential HIV Env-mediated fusion inhibitors and vaccines using chimeric gp41 proteins designed on the basis of the NMR structure of gp41 solved in his laboratory.

Fuchs named 2011 Passano laureate

Elaine Fuchs, a world leader in skin biology and its human genetic disorders, will receive the Passano Prize for her landmark contributions to skin biology and its disorders, including genetic syndromes, stem cells and cancers.

Fuchs, who is Rebecca C. Lancefield professor and head of the laboratory of mammalian cell biology and development at Rockefeller University, also is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her work has provided insights into our understanding of how stem cells of all types are able to rejuvenate tissues throughout life and also repair them after injury. Fuchs currently is trying to understand how the multipotent stem cells of mammalian skin give rise to the epidermis and hair follicles.

The Passano Foundation, founded in 1945, is devoted to encouraging medical science and research, particularly activities that have broad impact and clinical application. More than 20 of the Passano award winners have gone on to win a Nobel Prize.

Photo credit: Susan Band Horwitz.Horwitz receives Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research

Susan Band Horwitz, the Rose C. Falkenstein professor of cancer research and co-chair of the department of molecular pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, is the recipient of the eighth American Association for Cancer Research Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research.

Horwitz, who also is the associate director for therapeutics at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, discovered the mechanism of action of the chemotherapeutic drug paclitaxel (Taxol), which prompted the development of this drug as an important therapy for many common solid tumors, including ovarian, breast and lung carcinomas. Her work also has contributed to the understanding of how microtubules function in normal and malignant cells and why stabilization of microtubules is a promising target for drug discovery. Horwitz’s current research focuses on issues surrounding a variety of new natural products that share a similar mechanism to paclitaxel but also have differences that may enhance their therapeutic value.

The AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research was established in 2004 to honor an individual who has made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work. These contributions, whether they have been in research, leadership or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer.

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