March 2012

Member update

Bollinger recognized for mentoring junior faculty members

member_update_bollingerJ. Martin Bollinger Jr., a professor of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Pennsylvania State University, was honored by his institution for his track record of coaching junior faculty members. The Howard B. Palmer Mentoring Award, established in 1991 in honor of Palmer, who was the senior associate dean of Penn State’s graduate school in the 1980s, carries a purse of $2,500. Bollinger said he was honored by the award, “but the secret to being an effective mentor lies in the selection of extraordinarily talented colleagues to mentor.” He added, “My winning this award is the perfect illustration of this principle!”

Kahn to take new administrative post at diabetes center

member_update_kahnC. Ronald Kahn was named the first chief academic officer for the Joslin Diabetes Center, a clinical care and research organization affiliated with Harvard Medical School. In a statement, the center’s president and chief executive officer, John L. Brooks, said Kahn “understands the critical importance of our academic mission and our need for actively advancing, attracting and retaining the very best and brightest.” Kahn, who will oversee faculty recruitment and promotions, said he also wants to help the center develop a “stronger interface with the other Harvard Medical School affiliates.” Kahn is the past president of Joslin and is currently co-chief of the integrative physiology and metabolism section at Joslin and the Mary K. Iacocca professor of medicine at HMS.

Donoghue appointed provost of college at UC-San Diego

member_update_donoghueDaniel J. Donoghue has been named provost of the University of California, San Diego’s Sixth College, the newest of the institution’s six undergraduate colleges. Donoghue, who had served as vice-chair of the UCSD department of chemistry and biochemistry, took the reins Jan. 1. In a statement, UCSD’s executive vice-chancellor for academic affairs, Suresh Subramani, said Donoghue has for years demonstrated his commitment to undergraduate education and service. “He regularly teaches large lower-division courses and is a popular instructor among students,” Subramani said. The mission of the Sixth College, established in 2001, is to examine culture and art and how they intersect with science and technology. Donoghue has been with UCSD since 1982.

Mann earns two prestigious prizes

member_update_mannMatthias Mann, director of proteomics and signal transduction department at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, has won the Louis-Jeantet Foundation’s Prize for Medicine, an award for those conducting fundamental biological research expected to be of considerable medical significance. Mann was chosen for his pioneering mass spectrometry work. The award ceremony will be held in April in Geneva. The first part of the prize is 700,000 Swiss francs, or about $777,000, for further research. The second part, about $82,000, is for personal use. In December, Mann was one of 11 researchers who received the 2012 Leibniz Prize, the largest German research prize at 2.5 million euros, bestowed by the Joint Committee of the German Research Foundation in Bonn. 

Shao and Zhang win inaugural HHMI awards for early career scientists

member_update_shaomember_update_zhangFeng Shao (left) and Hong Zhang, both of the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing, were among 28 recipients from 12 countries who received the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s inaugural International Early Career Scientist awards. All the award recipients trained as graduate students or postdoctoral fellows in the United States. Shao attended graduate school at the University of Michigan and completed his postdoc at the University of California, San Diego, and Harvard Medical School; Zhang attended graduate school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his postdoc at Harvard Medical School. Today, Shao is an associate investigator and group leader, and Zhang is associate investigator at the NIBS. In a statement, HHMI President Robert Tjian said of the winners, “These are the people who, 10 years from now, we expect will be the scientific leaders in their countries.” Shao is taking a combination of biochemical, structural, genetic and cell biological approaches to reveal novel biochemical mechanisms underlying bacterial virulence and host innate immunity. Zhang uses Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to delineate the machinery, regulation and physiological functions of autophagy and to study how protein aggregates are selectively recognized and removed by autophagic machinery.

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