September 2013

Member update

The 2013 BioArt winners

Two members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology were named winners of the BioArt competition held by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology this year. FASEB chose 10 winning still images and two winning videos. Click here to find out more about the contest and the winning images. 

Cowan and McCully BioArt winning image  This winning micrograph was from ASBMB member James D. McCully, along with his colleague Douglas B. Cowan, both of Harvard Medical School. It shows laboratory-grown heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) from a rat injected with fluorescently labeled mitochondria (red) isolated from the liver of another animal. Fluorescent labeling was also used to visualize the muscle cells’ cytoskeleton (green) and nuclei (blue). The researchers found that injection of mitochondria from an unmatched donor in the heart decreases the amount of damage in a model of myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. This project aims to provide a clinically relevant treatment for humans and is supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
William Lewis BioArt winning image  This winning submission was from William Lewis of Emory University School of Medicine. Amyloidosis of the heart is a set of complex diseases caused by the accumulation of cellular proteins that forms an amyloid plaque. Although amyloidosis was described more than 100 years ago, the causative proteins were not identified until recent chemical analyses were conducted. This image shows an amyloid plaque stained with Congo red stain and viewed through a polarized lens. The optical properties of the amyloid-forming protein cause it to appear green, while other matrix materials within the plaque appear as orange and blue. Lewis’ research is supported by the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In memoriam: John G. Bieri
Jack BieriJohn G. “Jack” Bieri, a longtime biochemist at the National Institutes of Health, died in late July. He was 93. Bieri was born into a navy family in Norfolk, Va., and was the second in a brood of five boys. He attended Antioch College in Ohio for his undergraduate studies, Pennsylvania State University for his master’s and the University of Minnesota for his doctorate. He served during World War II in the navy. He joined the faculty of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1949 and in 1955 joined the NIH. His accomplishments and accolades were many: He was a Fulbright Fellow with Henrik Dam in Denmark, a president of the American Society for Nutrition, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an editorial board member of the Journal of Nutrition. He, with George Briggs, developed the standard diet for lab rodents at the NIH. When he retired in 1983, he was head of the nutritional biochemistry section at the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He was an avid golfer, active church member, visiting lecturer and dedicated hospital volunteer. He is survived by Shirley Bloch Bieri, his wife of 70 years, three children, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In memoriam: Anthony Pawson
Tony PawsonAnthony “Tony” Pawson, the British-born Canadian cell biologist whose team first reported in 1990 the process of signal transduction, died in early August. He was 60. Pawson was born in Maidstone, England, in 1952 and named after his father, a well-known cricketer and Olympian footballer who instilled in his sons a love for fly fishing. The younger Pawson completed his undergraduate studies at Winchester College, his master’s at the University of Cambridge with Tim Hunt, his doctoral work at King’s College London and postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he began working with tyrosine kinase, then poorly understood. In 1981, he opened his first lab at the University of British Columbia and worked there for four years before joining the University of Toronto and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital in 1985. In 1986, his team published the first report of SH2 interaction domains. For his outstanding contributions to the field of signal transduction research over the following decades, Pawson won the Kyoto Prize in 2008. Many considered Pawson, one of the top 25 most-cited scientists in his field, to be a strong candidate for a Nobel Prize. He was preceded in death by his wife, Maggie, and is survived by two children and a stepson. Image: Mount Sinai Hospital 

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