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Mann, Spiegel and Shobade are honored

ASBMB Today Staff
July 17, 2023

Mann receives Otto Warburg Medal

portrait of Matthias Mass
Matthias Mann

Matthias Mann, a director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, has won the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s 2023 Otto Warburg Medal. Mann also directs the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen.

The award recognized Mann for his discoveries in the field of mass spectrometry–based proteome analysis. His recent studies include work on deep visual proteomics, which melds AI-powered analysis of cell phenotypes with automated single-cell or single-nucleus laser microdissection and ultra-high–sensitivity mass spectrometry.

The medal honors the legacy of Otto Heinrich Warburg, a German biochemist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1931. To date, seven Warburg medal recipients have also won a Nobel Prize. Winners receive a prize of 25,000 euros, or close to $27,000, courtesy of Elsevier and its journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.

Mann also received the 2017 Lennart Philipson Award, the 2015 Barry L. Karger Medal in Bioanalytical Chemistry and, in 2012, both the Körber European Science Award and the Louis-Jeantet Foundation Prize for Medicine. The author of more than 800 publications, Mann is the most widely cited researcher in Germany, with more than 310,000 citations.

Spiegel recognized as a top female scientist

Portrait of Sarah Spiegel
Sarah Spiegel

The biochemist who discovered sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) — a molecular signal of cancer metastasis, cardiovascular disease and inflammation — is among the world’s top 1,000 women scientists of 2022, as named by

Sarah Spiegel, who chairs the biochemistry and molecular biology department in the medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University, clinched the No. 96 slot in the U.S. and was ranked 146th for female scientists worldwide.

The research portal noted Spiegel’s 454 publications and 63,933 citations, as well as her multidisciplinary approach to cancer research.

Spiegel earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. She carried out postdoctoral studies at what is now the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health. Her recent research grapples with the biological role of S1P and sphingosine kinases, the enzymes that catalyze its formation.

In 2021, Spiegel was named one of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s inaugural fellows. She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Lipid Research for more than a decade and was a member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry editorial board from 2010 to 2018. She won the ASBMB's 2009 Avanti Award in Lipids.

Shobade wins agriculture award

Portrait of Sam Shobade pipetting in a lab
Samuel Shobade

Samuel Shobade has received the Iowa State University inaugural Dhamu and Kanchana Thamodaran Innovation in Agriculture Student Award. This award supports students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who have innovative scientific, technological or business ideas for solving today’s challenges in agriculture.

Shobade is a graduate student at Iowa State studying biochemistry. He conducts research with Marit Nilsen-Hamilton, a professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. Shobade is investigating chitinases in the rhizosphere, the area of soil surrounding plant roots, which plant roots use to fend off pathogens. His research may lead to novel biological fungicides that contain chitinases to reduce crop loss from disease.

In a press release, Carmen Bain, associate dean for academic innovation at Iowa State, said the selection committee for the award agreed Shobade’s research was innovative and cutting-edge in its approach to enhance crop growth, crop yields and food quality: “His work exemplifies our college’s belief that identifying and developing solutions to complex problems in agriculture requires interdisciplinary thinking and practice.”


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