June 2011

Member Update

ASBMB members in the news this month include Mina Bissell,  Elaine Fuchs, Shinya Yamanaka, Gerard Karsenty, Harry Schachter and Jeremiah Silbert. Several ASBMB members also were elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

Bissell wins Jill Rose Award

Mina Bissell, a distinguished scientist in the life sciences division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Jill Rose Award by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The award, named for the late New York philanthropist and founding BCRF board member, comes with a gift of $25,000. 

Bissell is being recognized for her “pioneering work in the field of tumor microenvironment and singular contributions to our understanding of the importance of the extracellular matrix and its impact on gene expression in cancer biology, particularly breast cancer.” 

Bissell’s current research focuses on the role of extracellular matrix, its receptors and its degrading enzymes as central modulators of tissue-specific gene expression, signal transduction, apoptosis and cancer. Using mammary glands from mice and humans, she and her colleagues study the above processes in breasts and breast cancer.


Fuchs and Yamanaka share prize in medicine and biomedical research

Elaine Fuchs Shinya Yamanaka

ASBMB members Elaine Fuchs and Shinya Yamanaka are two of the three recipients of the 11th annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Fuchs, Yamanaka and James A. Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison were honored for pioneering work in isolating human stem cells.

Yamanaka is director and professor of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Applications at Kyoto University in Japan and senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco.

Fuchs is the Rebecca C. Lancefield professor, head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at The Rockefeller University in New York City.

The Albany Prize, which is awarded annually, recognizes extraordinary and sustained contributions to improving health care and promoting biomedical research with translational benefits applied to improved patient care. Fuchs, Thomson and Yamanaka are being recognized for work that has moved scientists closer to realizing the regenerative and potentially healing properties of stem cells as well as helping illuminate how human tissues develop and function. The $500,000 prize is the largest award in medicine and science in the U.S. 

Yamanaka and Thomson are credited with discovering how to genetically reprogram adult human cells back to an embryonic state. The production of these induced pluripotent stem cells, made independently in each researcher’s lab and reported in 2007, was hailed as a major scientific breakthrough. Fuchs is known for developing reverse genetics techniques that have made stem cell and genetic research easier for all scientists.

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Many thanks for reporting the 2010 Rosalind Kornfeld Awards for Lifetime Achievement in Glycobiology. It is greatly appreciated! I am afraid that you guys got the year wrong (2010, not 2009) but that is a minor error - not to worry. Kind regards Harry Schachter



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