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American Academy of Microbiology inducts fellows

ASBMB Today Staff
By ASBMB Today Staff
March 29, 2021

The American Academy of Microbiology has elected 65 new fellows into its class of 2021. The academy, an honorific leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology, elects microbiologists annually through peer review. Five of this year’s AAM fellows are American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members.

Pictured, from left to right are Julie Maupin–Furlow, Kenneth Marians, Mitzi Nagarkatti, Mario Feldman and Sarah Gaffen.

Julie Maupin–Furlow is a professor of microbiology and cell science of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. She is known for her lab’s biochemical and proteomic characterization of archaeal protein turnover through the proteasome–ubiquitin system. The work, which uses extremophiles from environments like the hyper-saline Dead Sea, is relevant to bioenergetic research, aiming to generate renewable fuels, as well as to astrobiological research. Maupin–Furlow is a member of the Archaeal Proteome Project, has organized Gordon Research Conferences, and received her university's UF Research Foundation award in 2010.

Kenneth Marians is a professor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a leader in the field of DNA replication. He served as chair of the molecular biology program for 25 years and was the founding dean of the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He is now back in the lab full time.

Mitzi Nagarkatti is Carolina distinguished professor and SmartState endowed chair of the Cancer Drug Discovery SmartState Center as well as chair of the department of pathology, microbiology and immunology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Her lab pursues broad-based research on inflammatory diseases, including studying the contribution of epigenetic modifications and other regulatory genes in inflammation, and seeking small molecule treatments for several types of cancers and cancer immunotherapy. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and has received numerous research awards.

Mario Feldman is a professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University in St Louis, where he studies pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, some of which frequently cause hospital-acquired infections. Feldman's lab works to develop new antimicrobials by better understanding bacterial secretion systems, virulence factors and outer membrane vesicles. Feldman also cofounded a biotechnology startup called VaxNewMo in 2016 and serves as chief scientific officer; the company aims to use glycoengineering to produce vaccines that more closely resemble true bacterial antigens.

Sarah Gaffen is the Gerald P. Rodnan endowed professor of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Pittsburgh and the director of her university's center of excellence in rheumatology and autoimmunity. Her lab was among the first to study interleukin 17 and continues to study the role of this cytokine, and the T cells that produce it, in host defense from fungal infection and also, when unchecked, autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis.

ASBMB Today Staff
ASBMB Today Staff

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