Member update

Zuk tapped to oversee division focused on
policy and communications at NCATS

Dorit Zuk
Dorit Zuk in January became director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Office of Policy, Communications and Strategic Alliances. In this position, Zuk oversees the development of policy solutions intended to hasten the delivery of new drugs, diagnostics and devices to patients. She also oversees the office’s communication arm, which serves the general public and scientific community by disseminating information about NCATS programs, policies and partnerships. “I am very excited to be joining NCATS, the newest center at NIH,” Zuk said. “I look forward to helping transform the translational science process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster.” Before joining NCATS, Zuk spent four years as a science policy adviser to the National Institutes of Health’s deputy director for extramural research, Sally Rockey. Before that, she was a science policy fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Zuk, who earned her Ph.D. in cell biology at the Weizmann Institute, is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Education and Professional Development Committee and chairs the advisory committee on AAAS Science and Technology fellowships.

Greider and Agre among first at Hopkins
to secure Bloomberg professorships

Carol Grieder Peter Agre
Two members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are among the first faculty members at Johns Hopkins University granted appointments under the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships program. Carol Grieder and Peter Agre, both Nobel laureates, secured the endowed chairs funded last year by Hopkins alumnus and business magnate Michael R. Bloomberg. The program is intended to promote interdisciplinary research in line with the university’s initiatives. “This university is committed, as much or more than any other, to assembling experts from divergent disciplines to attack humanity’s most important problems from every angle,” explained Hopkins’ president, Ronald J. Daniels, announcing the appointments. Hopkins’ provost, Robert C. Lieberman, added: “There is already a tremendous spirit of collaboration at Hopkins. That is one of our hallmarks. I think this program institutionalizes it all in a way that nothing else could.” Greider won the 2009 Nobel in physiology or medicine for the discovery of telomerase, which safeguards genetic information by capping off the ends of chromosomes. Agre won the 2003 Nobel in chemistry for his discovery of aquaporins, which move water molecules through the cell membrane.

AAAS recognizes Tsin for his dedication
to mentoring throughout his career

Andrew TsinAndrew Tsin of the University of Texas at San Antonio received the 2013 Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the organization’s annual meeting in February in Chicago. AAAS officials cited Tsin’s dedication to “facilitating dramatic education and research changes at his institution, leading to a significant production of Hispanic American doctorates in the biological sciences.” Tsin has been described as going above and beyond in support of his students, many of whom are first-generation college attendees. George Perry, a dean at UTSA, pointed to an undeniably powerful statistic: “The significant contribution of Dr. Tsin’s mentoring is evidenced in the successes of his mentees: 100 percent of his undergraduate and graduate students completed their degrees and have continued in their educational track or have entered successful scientific careers.” In a statement, the university noted that during his tenure at UTSA, Tsin has helped bring in $68.5 million in funding for programs for underrepresented minorities. Tsin previously received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Mentoring from President Obama and is a fellow of the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology.

In memoriam: Ellis Golub

Ellis Golub Ellis Golub, who spent 37 years at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, died Jan. 22 at the age of 71. “His warm personality and affable manner endeared him to all who knew him,” said Denis Kinane, a dean at the school. “He was an outstanding scientist and teacher to all.” A native of New York, Golub earned his bachelor’s in chemistry at Brandeis University in 1963 and then his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Tufts University in 1969. He was a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology and then became a research associate at the University of Connecticut Health Center. At Penn, his lab focused on the calcification of hard tissues and computational approaches to biochemistry and molecular biology. In addition, Golub often made himself available for university service. Golub twice headed up the school’s biochemistry department, first from 1996 to 2003 and then from 2009 to 2013. He served on the university’s council, the faculty senate’s executive committee and various other dental school committees. He was a member of many scientific societies.