Member News

York named CSO; Cortez takes over biochem dept; Rye receives research award

ASBMB Today Staff
By ASBMB Today Staff
Jan. 18, 2021

York named Impossible Foods CSO

John York, previously chair of the Vanderbilt University department of biochemistry, recently left that role to become the chief science officer at Impossible Foods.

John York

The startup, founded by biochemist Pat Brown and based in Oakland, California, develops and markets plant-based imitation meat. The company has put considerable effort into biochemical research to recreate the experience of eating meat, notably incorporating a heme protein from soy. The company is outspoken about its mission to combat climate change and other environmental problems by reducing meat consumption. 

“The opportunity to use biochemistry to save the planet is a spectacular motivation,” York stated in a press release from Impossible Foods.

York came to Vanderbilt from Duke University, where he was a professor for 16 years and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. In eight years at Vanderbilt, he pursued a long-standing interest in inositol phosphate signaling. He also developed a line of research into the effect of reductive sulfur fixation on iron homeostasis and physiology after the lab identified a family of proteins including both inositol phosphatases and sulfur-assimilation enzymes. According to a press statement from Vanderbilt, York deepened the university’s focus on basic science and helped make the biochemistry department the most funded by the National Institutes of Health in 2019.

Cortez takes over Vanderbilt biochemistry department

David Cortez, Richard Armstrong Professor for Innovation in Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University is serving as the interim chair of Vanderbilt’s department of biochemistry, effective Jan. 1.

David Cortez

“The people in this department and at Vanderbilt make it special, and I will do everything I can to support them as they pursue their goals,” Cortez stated in a Vanderbilt press release. 

Cortez received his Ph.D. from Duke University in molecular cancer biology and conducted postdoctoral research at the Baylor College of Medicine, and joined Vanderbilt as a young professor in 2002. His lab has studied replication stress, DNA damage responses and other pathways that control genome stability, and works on developing cancer therapeutics that target DNA damage pathways. 

Cortez is also associate director for basic sciences research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. He has received awards from the National Cancer Institute, the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Pew Charitable Trust. In 2017, he became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Rye receives UNSW Medicine research award

Kerry-Anne Rye, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and a co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Lipid Research, has received the University of New South Wales Faculty of Medicine Award for Academic Research Excellence.

Kerry-Anne Rye

Rye, who received her Ph.D. from Flinders University in South Australia and was a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been a research professor at UNSW since 2013. She is deputy head of the School of Medical Sciences, where she studies the mechanisms by which diabetes can lead to heart disease. She was the first to report that the atheroprotective high-density lipoproteins in human plasma inhibit inflammation in coronary arteries and that these HDLs also have anti-diabetic properties.

This is not the first time UNSW has honored Rye, who was recognized as the UNSW School of Medical Sciences Researcher of the Year in 2016. Among her other awards are several nods for research and mentoring from the American Heart Association’s Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology council. She is also an editorial board member of two AHA journals and has held multiple leadership roles within that organization.

ASBMB Today Staff
ASBMB Today Staff

This article was written by a member or members of the ASBMB Today staff.

Related articles

Winners of the ‘aha moments’ essay contest
Richard F. Ludueña, Mindy Engevik & Kazuhiko Igarashi
ASBMB welcomes new members
ASBMB Today Staff
First class
Judith S. Bond & Edward Eisenstein

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in People

People highlights or most popular articles

Part 1: ‘Aha moments’ essay contest honorable mentions
Contest

Part 1: ‘Aha moments’ essay contest honorable mentions

May 6, 2021

To celebrate our three journals going open access, we invited readers to share their moments of discovery in science. Here are two honorable mentions.

Share your aha moments!
Editor's Note

Share your aha moments!

May 4, 2021

How a brainstorming session produced two videos, an essay contest and gratitude.

Winners of the ‘aha moments’ essay contest
Contest

Winners of the ‘aha moments’ essay contest

May 4, 2021

To celebrate our three journals going open access, we invited readers to share their moments of discovery in science. Here are the first, second and third place winners.

Stoddard wins mentoring award; Do honored as scholar–athlete
Member News

Stoddard wins mentoring award; Do honored as scholar–athlete

May 3, 2021

Awards, promotions, milestones and more. Find out what's going on in the lives of ASBMB members.

ASBMB welcomes new members
Member News

ASBMB welcomes new members

May 3, 2021

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology welcomed more than 340 new members in January.

The 17th-century cloth merchant who discovered the vast realm of tiny microbes
News

The 17th-century cloth merchant who discovered the vast realm of tiny microbes

May 2, 2021

Although untrained in science, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek became the greatest lens-maker of his day, discovered microscopic life forms and is known today as the “father of microbiology.”