Member News

Derbyshire named Sloan fellow; Dahms and Kornfeld to sit on M6P board

ASBMB Today Staff
By ASBMB Today Staff
March 22, 2021

Derbyshire named Sloan fellow

Emily Derbyshire, an assistant professor of chemistry at Duke University, is one of 128 early-career scholars who are winners of the 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships.

Emily Derbyshire

Derbyshire earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, then held a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School from 2009 to 2014. She was a scholar in residence in the chemistry department at Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences before joining the faculty. She is also an assistant professor in molecular genetics and microbiology and an associate of the Duke Initiative for Science and Society.

Derbyshire’s lab studies novel aspects of malaria parasite biology with the aim of identifying druggable targets. They develop phenotypic and target-based screens to discover small molecules that can be leveraged to elucidate biological pathways. Their efforts integrating biochemistry, microbiology and chemical biology have revealed parasite and human proteins that are important for pathogen infection.

Each year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provides fellowships to promising scientific researchers whose achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Winners each receive $75,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.

Dahms and Kornfeld named to M6P board

Stuart Kornfeld
Nancy Dahms

The Missouri-based biotechnology company M6P Therapeutics, which develops enzyme and gene therapies for lysosomal storage disorders, has appointed a scientific advisory board of geneticists and glycobiologists including two American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members, Stuart Kornfeld and Nancy Dahms.

The company is named for the sugar mannose-6-phosphate, which acts as a signal flag to promote trafficking of enzymes destined for the lysosome. Without the sugar, enzymes don't make it to the lysosome — and absence of certain enzymes can cause lysosomal buildup of their substrates. Lysosomal storage disorders are generally rare diseases but can be very serious. The company is developing a gene therapeutic approach that expresses both a missing lysosomal enzyme and a phosphotransferase that enables proper lysosomal targeting.

The scientific board’s chairman is also the company's co-founder, glycobiologist Stuart Kornfeld, a professor at Washington University Medical School in St Louis. Kornfeld, who has taught at WashU since 1967, has a long history of service to the field. He served several terms on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, including a term as an associate editor, and has served on numerous research review boards for awards and granting agencies. In 2012, he received the Herbert Tabor Research Award from the ASBMB.

Board member Nancy Dahms, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has studied lysosomal storage diseases since she was a postdoc in Kornfeld’s lab at WashU in the 1980s. As a postdoc, she characterized mannose-6-phosphate receptors that govern lysosomal enzyme targeting.  She has studied glycoproteins and their receptors ever since, becoming a leading expert in Fabry disease, a lysosomal storage disorder caused by buildup of a glycosphingolipid when a certain lysosomal glycan-digesting enzyme is mutated or absent. She is the 2021 president of the Society for Glycobiology.

ASBMB Today Staff
ASBMB Today Staff

This article was written by a member or members of the 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

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.

2021 voter guide
Member News

2021 voter guide

July 14, 2021

Learn about the positions and candidates running for ASBMB president-elect, treasurer, Council and Nominating Committee.

Dixon retires from UCSD; Johnson–Winters honored for essay; Mississippi State recognizes Sparks
Member News

Dixon retires from UCSD; Johnson–Winters honored for essay; Mississippi State recognizes Sparks

July 12, 2021

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

Ambitious gene editing needs an ambitious pair of scissors
Profile

Ambitious gene editing needs an ambitious pair of scissors

July 10, 2021

Amit Choudhary speaks about being agnostic to scientific disciplines, and the power of CRISPR/Cas9.