December 2009

ASBMB Member Spotlight

Trievel Presented with Etter Award

Ray TrievelRay Trievel, associate professor of biological chemistry at the University of Michigan Medical School, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Etter Early Career Award from the American Crystallographic Association.

Trievel will receive his award next summer when he delivers a lecture at the ACA annual meeting in Chicago. The Etter award recognizes outstanding achievement and exceptional potential in crystallographic research demonstrated by a scientist at an early stage of his or her independent career. The award was established in 2002 to honor the memory of Margaret C. Etter, who was a major contributor to the field of organic solid-state chemistry.

Trievel studies the mechanisms by which protein modifications within the nucleus affect transcription and other genomic processes. His primary research goals are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of enzymes that catalyze chromatin modifications and the specificities of effector proteins that recognize those modifications and transduce the information encoded by those marks. He also is developing biochemical assays and other reagents to facilitate high-throughput screening of small-molecule inhibitors against chromatin modifying enzymes.

Fuchs Garners L’Oréal-UNESCO Award

Elaine FuchsElaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield professor and head of the laboratory of mammalian cell biology and development at Rockefeller University, is the recipient of a 2010 L’Oréal-UNESCO Award in the Life Sciences. Fuchs is one of five scientists, representing five continents, who will be honored with the award this year.

The award, founded 12 years ago, recognizes female scientists who have made important contributions to science and who have been a source of support, motivation and inspiration for women in science. It is presented by the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation, based in France, and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which promotes cooperation, ethics and peace in science.

Fuchs, who also is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is being recognized for her contributions to our knowledge of skin biology and skin stem cells. Her research centers on how skin stem cells self-renew, develop and maintain the epidermis and hair follicles and the molecular mechanisms that enable those cells to respond to various external cues, depart from their niche and accomplish those tasks.

Lefkowitz Wins Research Achievement Award

Robert LefkowitzRobert J. Lefkowitz, James B. Duke professor of medicine and biochemistry at Duke University, is the recipient of a 2009 American Heart Association Research Achievement Award. He received the award for his research on G protein-coupled receptors, which transmit chemical signals that regulate physiological processes, such as heart rate and blood pressure.

Lefkowitz’s work on G protein-coupled receptors, the largest and most pervasive family of cell receptors, began in 1982 with the identification of the gene for the β-adrenergic receptor, which helps regulate the body’s fight-or-flight response by reacting to epinephrine. Shortly thereafter, he discovered seven additional adrenergic receptors. Those receptors— and all G-protein receptors— share a basic structure in which the molecule weaves its way back and forth seven times across a cell’s membrane. When the portion of the molecule that lies outside the cell connects with the receptor’s favored signaling molecule, the internal portions of the molecule can trigger the appropriate cellular response. Lefkowitz is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Three ASBMB Members Elected to IOM

Thomas Curran Alfred Goldberg Daniel Podolsky
Alfred L.
Daniel K.

Three American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members are among the 65 new members and five foreign associates elected to the Institute of Medicine this year. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

The ASBMB members newly elected to the IOM are:

Thomas Curran, deputy scientific director of Joseph Stokes Jr. Institute, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and professor of pathology, University of Pennsylvania.

Alfred L. Goldberg, professor of cell biology, department of cell biology, Harvard Medical School.

Daniel K. Podolsky, Philip O’Bryan Montgomery Jr. M.D. distinguished presidential chair in academic administration and Doris and Bryan Wildenthal distinguished chair in medical science, department of internal medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

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