Award

Kim Orth’s efforts ‘nothing short of dazzling’

Geoff Hunt
Jan. 31, 2012

Kim Orth, professor of molecular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, has been named the winner of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Young Investigator Award.

awards_orth Kim Orth

About the award

The ASBMB Young Investigator Award (formerly the ASBMB/Schering-Plough Research Institute Award) recognizes outstanding research contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology. The recipient must have no more than 15 years postdoctoral experience. The award consists of a plaque, $5,000, transportation, and expenses to present a lecture at the 2012 ASBMB annual meeting.

Orth received the award in recognition of her seminal discoveries of the molecular mechanisms that virulence factors from pathogenic bacteria (including those responsible for the plague and food poisoning) use to manipulate host cell signaling systems to promote infection. These bacterial factors disrupt the host’s defense mechanisms, allowing the bacteria to survive and replicate by tipping the balance of homeostatic signaling pathways in favor of the invading pathogen.

For Eric Olson, also from UT-Southwestern, Orth’s work “represents a unique convergence of biochemistry and cellular biology with the basic mechanisms of infectious disease.” Jack Dixon, vice president and chief scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, agreed. “Kim’s efforts were nothing short of dazzling,” he said.

“I feel extremely honored to win such a prestigious award for our scientific endeavors,” said Orth. “I credit much of this success to the skilled people I have had the privilege to mentor, the first-class, collegial environment at UT-Southwestern, and my supportive friends and family.” A scientist to the bone, Orth also made sure to credit the “clever bacterial pathogens that evolved magnificent mechanisms to manipulate cellular signaling and who make science so much fun.”

After an undergraduate career at Texas A&M University, Orth received her master’s in biological chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, before moving to UT-Southwestern, where she spent three years as a research associate before beginning her Ph.D. program, which she finished in 1995. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, Orth returned to UT-Southwestern in 2001, where she has been ever since.

Orth will receive her award during the Experimental Biology 2012 conference in San Diego, where she will deliver an award lecture. The presentation will take place at 2:55 p.m. April 24 in the San Diego Convention Center.

Geoff Hunt

Geoff Hunt is the ASBMB's former outreach manager. 

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.”