Member News

Who is Herbert Tabor?

Laurel Oldach
March 1, 2018

Now 99 years old, Herbert Tabor is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. From 1971 to 2010, he served as editor-in-chief for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, overseeing its expansion from 1,000 to 4,500 published articles per year and its transition to online publication.

Herbert Tabor

Over the years, he also has authored 31 articles published in JBC, including nine co-authored with his wife, the late Celia White Tabor.

The JBC/Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Awards were conceived to honor him, said Associate Editor George DeMartino of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “And there’s probably nothing that would honor him more than having good papers published in JBC.”

Here’s a brief look at Tabor’s life and accomplishments:

1905: The Journal of Biological Chemistry is founded.
1918: Herbert Tabor is born in New York City.
1937: Tabor graduates from Harvard College.
1940: Tabor meets Celia White on a streetcar in Boston.
1941: Tabor graduates with an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
1942: Tabor starts an internship at Yale New Haven Hospital, working concurrently in the lab of John Peters.
1943: Tabor joins the war effort as medical officer on a Coast Guard cutter escorting Atlantic convoys.
1943: Tabor is transferred to the National Institutes of Health, joining Sanford Rosenthal’s team to study treatment for burns and traumatic shock.
1943: Tabor’s first article is published in JBC: Tabor and Hastings, “The ionization constant of secondary magnesium phosphate.”
1946: Herb Tabor and Celia White marry.
1949: The Tabors move into commissioned officer housing on the NIH campus, where they raise their children and where Herb Tabor still lives today.
1952: Celia White Tabor joins the Rosenthal lab, starting the Tabors’ shared research.
1961: Tabor joins the editorial board of JBC.
1971: Tabor becomes editor-in-chief of JBC.
1975: The Tabors’ first joint article is published in JBC: H. Tabor and C.W. Tabor, “Isolation, characterization and turnover of glutathionylspermidine from Escherichia coli.”
1995: JBC becomes the first scientific journal to be published online.
2010: Tabor steps down as editor-in-chief, becomes co-editor and continues his bench research.
2011: JBC Editor-in-Chief Marty Fedor announces establishment of the JBC/Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Awards to be presented by journal associate editors to presenters at specialized scientific meetings.
2013: Published in JBC 70 years after Tabor’s first JBC article: Chattopadhyay and Tabor, “Polyamines are critical for the induction of the glutamate decarboxylase dependent acid resistance system in E. coli.”
2017: JBC Editor-in-Chief Lila Gierasch announces the Tabor awards will honor work on top-notch papers published by JBC.
Laurel Oldach

Laurel Oldach is a science writer for the ASBMB.

Related articles

Remembering Suttie and Ponka
ASBMB Today Staff
Herbert Tabor 1918 – 2020
F. Peter Guengerich
Meet Qi-Qun Tang
John Arnst
Herb Tabor turns 100
ASBMB Today Staff
In memoriam: Gerhard Meissner
ASBMB Today Staff

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

Spriggs to start lab; Cejka joins EMBO
Member News

Spriggs to start lab; Cejka joins EMBO

Aug. 2, 2021

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

In memoriam: Gerhard Meissner
In Memoriam

In memoriam: Gerhard Meissner

Aug. 2, 2021

He was a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an ASBMB member for more than 40 years.

Meet Stephanie Moon
Observance

Meet Stephanie Moon

Aug. 2, 2021

She studies messenger RNA regulation at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Journal of Biological Chemistry names new editor-in-chief
Journal News

Journal of Biological Chemistry names new editor-in-chief

July 30, 2021

Alex Toker, professor of pathology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, will begin his term Oct. 1.

Conaway named vice provost; Emr wins Shaw Prize; remembering Hartley
Member News

Conaway named vice provost; Emr wins Shaw Prize; remembering Hartley

July 26, 2021

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

Remembering Turk and Yamamoto
In Memoriam

Remembering Turk and Yamamoto

July 19, 2021

We look back on the lives of a mass spectrometry pioneer and member of the JBC editorial board and a researcher focused on enzymology and the biochemistry of lipids involved in inflammation.