Member update

Published March 01 2019


Five members honored by academy of inventors

Susan J. BasergaSusan J. Baserga Elaine V. FuchsElaine V. Fuchs Bert W. O’MalleyBert W. O’Malley Susan S. TaylorSusan S. Taylor Ruiwen ZhangRuiwen Zhang


Five American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members are among 148 individuals elected as 2018 fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

The highest professional distinction bestowed upon academic inventors, election to NAI fellow status is based on creating or facilitating inventions that have had a profound impact on society.

There are over 1,000 NAI fellows, who have generated more than 11,000 licensed technologies and companies and over $190 billion in revenue.

The 2018 NAI fellows will be inducted as part of the eighth NAI annual meeting in April in Houston.

They are:

Susan J. Baserga, professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, of genetics, and of therapeutic radiology at Yale University.
Elaine V. Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield professor of mammalian cell biology and development at The Rockefeller University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
Bert W. O’Malley, professor of molecular biology and chancellor of Baylor College of Medicine.
Susan S. Taylor, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, professor of pharmacology, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, San Diego.
Ruiwen Zhang, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of the UH Center for Drug Discovery at the University of Houston.


Sonenberg receives biomedical research prize

Nahum Sonenberg, a McGill University professor, has received the Wilder–Penfield prize for biomedical research.

Awarded since 1993, the Wilder–Penfield prize is the highest honor bestowed by the government of Quebec to an individual for significant research in the biomedical field.

Sonenberg holds the Gilman Cheney Chair in biochemistry and is a senior researcher at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill.

His research focuses on the molecular basis for controlling protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells.

While completing postdoctoral studies at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Sonenberg discovered and established the role that the eIF4E molecule plays in translating genetic information into proteins.

The Wilder–Penfield prize is one of several awards that make up the Prix du Quebec, which recognizes outstanding cultural and scientific accomplishments.

Nahum SonenbergNahum Sonenberg

Arroyo chosen for Rhodes scholarship

The Rhodes Trust at the University of Oxford, U.K., has selected Chapman University senior Vidal M. Arroyo to receive a 2019 Rhodes scholarship.

Arroyo is pursuing an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in computational science.

Chapman University’s first Rhodes scholar, Arroyo studies the link between cancer and obesity as well as outcome disparities among survivors of childhood cancer.

Arroyo is the founder and president of the Chapman STEMtors, a student organization dedicated to peer support and mentorship in the scientific community. He was a 2018 winner of the ASBMB’s Marion B. Sewer undergraduate scholarship.

He will pursue studies in statistical science during his time at Oxford.

Vidal M. Arroyo Vidal M. Arroyo

Barr–Gillespie named chief research officer

Peter Barr–Gillespie has been appointed as the chief research officer at Oregon Health & Science University.

Barr–Gillespie will serve as the chief adviser on research strategy to the university’s president, overseeing the institution’s research divisions with a budget of over $460 million.

During his research career, his work has focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that enable our sense of hearing.

A member of the faculty at OHSU since 1999, Barr–Gillespie has served as professor in the departments of otolaryngology, cell biology and development, and biochemistry and molecular biology.

He has been the interim senior vice president for research since 2017 and is also a senior scientist with the Vollum Institute at OHSU.

Peter Barr–Gillespie Peter Barr–Gillespie

In memoriam: Julián Gómez–Cambronero

Wright State University professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Julián Gómez–Cambronero died Nov. 12. He was 59 years old.

Born in Manzanares, Ciudad Real, Spain, Gómez–Cambronero received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and immunology at the Complutense University of Madrid. He then traveled to the United States, first working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Connecticut Health Center and later serving on the university faculty as a research assistant.

In 1995, he joined the faculty at Wright State as an assistant professor in the department of physiology and biophysics. He was promoted to associate professor in 2000 and full professor in 2004.

Among his many research accomplishments, Cambronero discovered a key protein, phospholipase D, that plays a critical role in the development of breast cancer tumors and the spread of the disease to the lungs.

He is survived by his wife, Teresa Madrid, and his two children, Julia and David.

Julián Gómez–Cambronero Julián Gómez–Cambronero

In memoriam: Henry Metzger

Henry Metzger died Nov. 20, 2018, at the age of 86 after a two-year struggle with cancer.

Metzger was born in Mainz, Germany, on March 23, 1932, and immigrated to New York City in January 1938. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Rochester before attending the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

He completed a residency at the New York–Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and then, in 1959, went to the National Institutes of Health, where he spent most of his career.

Metzger pursued basic research in molecular aspects of the immune system. He served as the first director of intramural research with the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

He authored more than 250 scientific articles, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Deborah, and their children, Eran Daniel, Renee Butler Metzger, and Carl Elias.

Henry Metzger Henry Metzger

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