Member Update

Published September 01 2018

Hobbs wins French science prize

Helen Hobbs is a 2018 recipient of the Institut de France Grand Prix Scientifique.

Created in 2002 by the Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation, the prize recognizes scientists who have made significant contributions toward physiology, biology or cardiovascular medicine.

Hobbs is being recognized for her role in discovering of a novel way to reduce cholesterol. She helped reveal that mutations in the protein PCSK9 lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, the cholesterol that contributes to plaque in arteries, which paved the way for development of a drug.

One of the most prestigious awards in cardiovascular research, the award carries a €600,000 prize. Hobbs will share the prize with two other awardees who have made discoveries related to cholesterol and the PCSK9 gene.

Hobbs is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics and director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Helen Hobbs


Langer named science envoy

Robert Langer, an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of five individuals named 2018 U.S. science envoys.

The U.S. Science Envoy Program promotes international cooperation in the areas of science, technology and engineering. Serving for one year, envoys are leading scientists who build global collaborations to address important scientific issues.

As a science envoy, Langer will focus on developing novel approaches in biomaterials, drug delivery systems, nanotechnology, tissue engineering and the U.S. approach to research commercialization.

The most cited engineer in history, according to Google Scholar, Langer has published more than 1,400 articles and has more than 1,300 issued and pending patents worldwide. His research focuses on nanotechnology, seeking to develop nanoparticles to treat cancer and other diseases.

Langer is one of 13 institute professors at MIT and has received more than 220 major awards.

Robert Langer

Neena Grover receives teaching award

Neena Grover, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Colorado College, is a recipient of the 2018 Midstates Consortium for Math and Science’s Janet Anderson Lecture Award.

Established in memory of Hope College professor Janet Anderson, this award recognizes faculty members in the Midstates Consortium who have distinguished themselves through teaching, research and service to their community.

Grover has been praised widely by both faculty and students for fostering a collaborative and engaging research environment.

A mentor for numerous students, Grover stays active in community outreach. She has collaborated with the Southern Colorado AIDS Project, guiding her students as they provide outreach on HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention and treatment.

Grover will speak at the consortium’s 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences and Psychology in November.

Neena Grover


Carroll wins governor’s medal

Dana Carroll is one of four honorees who will receive the 2018 Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology.

The governor’s medal is the state’s highest civilian award in these fields, bestowed on individuals who have made significant contributions in science and technology.

Carroll is honored for his research in precise genome engineering, which demonstrated the effectiveness of zinc-finger nucleases, or ZFNs, as a tool for modifying DNA. Ultimately, his work provided the framework for the development of other gene-editing technologies, including CRISPR.

Carroll is a distinguished professor in the department of biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He got the medal in June.

Dana Carroll


Stuehr wins Morley medal

Dennis Stuehr has been awarded the 2018 Edward W. Morley Medal by the American Chemical Society’s Cleveland Section.

The award recognizes contributions to chemistry through significant achievements in research, teaching, engineering, research administration and public service. The medal carries a $2,000 honorarium.

Stuehr is a professor in the department of molecular medicine at Case Western Reserve University and on the staff of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute.

His research explores the fundamental mechanisms that govern the function of nitric oxide synthase enzymes in the human body. He has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles.

Stuehr received the Morley Medal in May at the meeting of the ACS Cleveland Section.

Dennis Stuehr


Parise elected chair of UNC faculty council

Leslie Parise has been elected chair of the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Parise will act as chair pro tempore of the faculty council and general faculty, representing the chancellor in academic matters as requested. She plans to address budget issues, faculty retention, diversity, family-friendly policies and other concerns.

She previously served on the faculty executive committee and the faculty council, where she worked to improve the work-life balance on campus.

Parise is a professor and chair of the department of biochemistry and biophysics at UNC. She is also a professor of pharmacology and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UNC McAllister Heart Institute.

Her three-year term runs through June 2020.

Leslie Parise

Hird, Morris named Beckman scholars

Miami University biochemistry majors Krystina Hird and Matt Morris have been named 2018–2019 Beckman scholars.

Miami was chosen as one of 12 institutions to receive a 2016–2019 Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation scholars program award. The institutional award provides funding for three years for up to five students studying chemistry, biochemistry and the biological sciences.

Hird’s research explores how proteins move across plant cell membranes. In addition to being a senior biochemistry major, Hird is a plant biology, molecular biology and bioinformatics triple minor.

A junior double major in biochemistry and music performance, Morris has focused his research on clinical inhibitors of metallo-beta-lactamases.

Hird and Morris each will receive $19,300 to support their undergraduate research as well as faculty support and mentorship for their research projects over two summers and one academic year.

Krystina Hird
Matt Morris

Thorsell wins ASBMB science fair award

Anthony Thorsell received an ASBMB Science Fair Award for his project, Collection and Amplification of DNA on Various Surfaces.

The ASBMB Science Fair award is presented to a middle school or high school student participating in a local science fair who demonstrates outstanding achievement in biochemistry and molecular biology research. The award carries a $50 prize and a certificate. Thorsell’s award was sponsored by the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota ASBMB Student Chapter.

Thorsell’s project addressed the issue of obtaining quality DNA samples depending on the surfaces on which they were found. His research tested the amount of DNA that could be extracted from different surface types using polymerase chain reaction.

Thorsell is a student in the Cochrane−Fountain City School District in Fountain City, Wisconsin.

Anthony Thorsell


Erik Chaulk Erik Chaulk is a peer-review coordinator and digital publications web specialist at the ASBMB.