June 2013

Member update

New members of the National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Sciences logoThe National Academy of Sciences announced in late April the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in research. Among those elected were the following ASBMB members:

New members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

American Academy of Arts and Sciences logoThe American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced in late April the election of 198 new members who will be inducted at a ceremony in October in Cambridge, Mass. The following ASBMB members were elected:

Three members win Melanoma Research Alliance awards 

Navin Varadarajan Levi Garraway Andrew Aplin
Varadarajan Garraway Aplin

Three American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members from Houston, Boston and Philadelphia were among the 49 scientists and clinicians who won awards for 2013 from the Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest private funder of melanoma research. The alliance issued 20 awards for a total of $9.61 million:

  • • Navin Varadarajan of the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering won the Stewart Rahr-MRA Young Investigator Award, a three-year grant of $225,000, for his project titled “Quantitative single-cell biomarkers of melanoma immunotherapy.”
  • • Levi A. Garraway of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute won the Christie’s-MRA Team Science Award for a project titled “Chromatin-based therapeutic combinations for the treatment of melanoma” with collaborator Leonard Zon of Children’s Hospital Boston.
  • • Andrew E. Aplin of Thomas Jefferson University won one of five awards dedicated to academic-industry partnerships. Aplin’s project, titled “Determinants of response to CDK4/6 inhibitors in melanoma,” is in collaboration with Pfizer Inc.

AACR honors Levitzki with 2013 award for outstanding achievement
Alexander LevitzkiThe American Association for Cancer Research recognized Alexander Levitzki for his work on signal-transduction therapy and development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors as effective agents against cancer with the 2013 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research. Levitzki, professor of biochemistry at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, gave an award lecture titled “Eradicating tumors by targeting nonviral vectors carrying polyIC” at the AACR’s annual meeting in April in Washington, D.C. In 1988, Levitzki systematically screened low-molecular-weight protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors that had been synthesized in his lab and identified the compounds that inhibited potently the EGF-dependent proliferation of cancer cells. At the time, few believed such inhibitors would be specific enough for clinical use, but Levitzki went on to synthesize inhibitors of great specificity to other kinase targets, including the Bcr-Abl fusion protein, the PDGF receptor, the VEGF receptor and Jak2. His approach of doing large-scale screening of compounds against a large spectrum of protein kinases and then systematically testing in cell cultures and model animals is today the method used around the world, and over the years numerous targeted cancer therapies have emerged, including imatinib, crizotinib and lapatinib.
Raines wins Jeremy Knowles Award from Royal Society of Chemistry
Ronald RainesRonald T. Raines, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, won the 2013 Jeremy Knowles Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The award recognizes his work to illuminate the catalytic mechanism of ribonuclease A and then to transform this enzyme into a potent anticancer agent and his identification of n-to-π* interactions as previously unrecognized forces that stabilize proteins. Raines is the third ASBMB member to win the award since it was established in 2008. Previous winners include Wildfred van der Donk of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010) and James Naismith of the University of St. Andrews (2009).
In memoriam: Francis “Frank” Ruddle, 83
Frank RuddleFrancis “Frank” Ruddle, whose team announced in 1980 that it has created the first transgenic model organism, a mouse, died at age 83 in March in New Haven, Conn. Ruddle, a geneticist at Yale University, also is credited with helping to lay the foundation for the Human Genome Project, as he was one of the first researchers to map genes’ locations on human chromosomes.
Lively elected to become FASEB’s next treasurer
Mark LivelyMark O. Lively of Wake Forest University School of Medicine has been elected the next treasurer of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Lively, a past president of FASEB, will begin his term as treasurer-elect July 1 and will take office as treasurer July 1, 2014. Lively is a professor of biochemistry and director of the Biomolecular Resource Laboratory, a core laboratory of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University.

Beat the BioArt competition

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is holding its second annual BioArt Contest, and the deadline is approaching!
Each day, biomedical and life science investigators produce thousands of images and videos as a part of their research; however, only a few are ever seen outside of the laboratory. Sharing visually compelling research data with the public can create a sense of wonder and excitement about science.
This year FASEB will select 10 winning images and two videos.
Last year’s winning images were displayed at a Capitol Hill reception and at the National Institutes of Health’s visitors center.
To participate, submit the following by July 11, 2013, to BioArt@faseb.org:
  • • High-resolution, print‐ready photograph, illustration or video
  • • 100-word, nontechnical caption
  • • Names and institutional affiliations of all entrants
  • • Federal funding sources (e.g., agency and grant number)
Click here for more information.
Last year’s winners:
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