July 2011

Member Update

Williams honored with Presidential Award 

Photo credit: Mary Levin

President Obama has named Michelle Williams, University of Washington professor of epidemiology and global health in the School of Public Health, as one of the nation’s outstanding mentors in science, math and engineering.

Williams, an expert in maternal and infant health, was among 11 individuals and four organizations selected as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The awards are given by the White House each year to individuals or organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science or engineering, particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in those fields.

Williams is director of the UW’s Multidisciplinary International Research Training Program and director of the Reproductive Pediatric and Prenatal Epidemiology Training Program at the UW. She also is co-director of the Center for Prenatal Studies at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.


Three ASBMB members honored for cancer research 

The American Association for Cancer Research has recognized three American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members whose work has significantly contributed to progress in the fight against cancer.

Helen M. Blau

Helen M. Blau was awarded the Seventh Annual AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship. Blau is the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter professor and director of the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology in the microbiology and immunology department at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is known for her research on cellular reprogramming, regulation of cell fate and skeletal muscle regeneration, and stem cell biology. By perturbing the intracellular or extracellular milieu, she can probe the regulatory network that determines cell fate and how it can be altered.

Philip C. Hanawalt

Philip C. Hanawalt, the Morris Herzstein professor of biology at Stanford University and a pioneer in the field of DNA repair, received the Fifth Annual AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship for international collaboration. In 1963, Hanawalt and his student David Pettijohn first reported DNA repair replication in E. coli. That observation, along with findings from the groups of Richard Setlow and Paul Howard-Flanders, constituted the discovery of the excision repair of damaged DNA, launching a new biological field that continues to grow and provide remarkable insights into the etiology of cancer, aging and human hereditary disease.

Carol L. Prives

Carol L. Prives, the Da Costa professor of biology at Columbia University, was awarded the 14th Annual AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship for her exceptional contributions to our understanding of the regulation and function of p53 as a major tumor suppressor. Prives was among the first to make the critical discovery that p53 is a sequence-specific DNA binding protein that functions as a transcription factor. This laid the groundwork for unraveling how p53 works.

Photos copyright 2011 AACR. 

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