December 2012

Member update

Ono named president of University of Cincinnati
Photo of Santa Jeremy OnoSanta Jeremy Ono was named president of the University of Cincinnati after a unanimous vote by the school’s board of trustees in late October. He had been serving as interim president since August and served before that as the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. He’s a professor of pediatrics at the College of Medicine and a research faculty member at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Before arriving at UC, Ono was part of the administration at Emory University and a faculty member at Emory’s medical school. Ono has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
AAMC honors Gordon for pioneering gut microbiome work
Photo of Jeffrey GordonJeffrey I. Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine won the Association of American Medical College’s 2012 Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences. Gordon studies how the gut microbiome affects our physiology and metabolism. A pioneer in the field of metagenomics, Gordon has developed several important experimental and computational approaches, and his work has changed the way we view our mutually beneficial relationships with gut microbes. The AAMC award each year goes to a medical school faculty member who has done outstanding basic or clinical research. Gordon heads up the Center for Genome Sciences and System Biology at WUSTL, where he’s been on the faculty since 1981. He’s a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine.
Dufau wins Argentina’s RAICES Prize
Photo of Maria DufauMaria L. Dufau, chief of the molecular endocrinology section of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, received last month Argentina’s RAICES Prize, an award established in 2010 to recognize outstanding Argentine scientists working abroad who have promoted ties that have strengthened science and technology initiatives in Argentina. Dufau was recognized for her dedication to training Argentine fellows and for welcoming Argentine collaborators to her lab over the years. After receiving her award in Buenos Aires, Dufau gave a talk titled “Mi Jornada,” or “My Journey.” RAICES stands for “Red de Argentinos Investigadores y Cientificos en el Exterior,” and the acronym means “roots.” The prize is an outgrowth of a program by the same name that was established in 2003. “This great program supports cooperation of Argentinian scientists living and working abroad with colleagues within the country,” Dufau said. “It also promotes repatriation and provides support for returning fellows after their training abroad to establish their independent careers.” Since the program’s inception, more than 800 scientists have returned to Argentina. Dufau has been an ASBMB member for more than 30 years and served two terms on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Her research focuses on the regulation and function of luteinizing hormone and prolactin receptors, as well as gonadotropin-regulated genes. Her lab discovered a gonadotropin-regulated testicular RNA helicase, GRTH/DDX25, which is essential for spermatogenesis. Most of the seminal findings by her lab in these areas of research were published in the JBC.
Kundu’s group wins first place in Merck Millipore competition
Photo of Tapas KunduTapas Kundu, a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India, and an editorial board member of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, was on the team that won the top prize in the first annual Merck Millipore India Innovation Awards for life science research and innovation. Kundu’s team, which focuses on the mechanism of transcription regulation through chromatin, will share the prize of about $56,000. “I congratulate Merck Millipore for this idea,” Kunda said in a statement. “This will encourage young minds across India. It gives us an opportunity to work together for the need of science, the need of technology and the needs of the Indian society.” The second prize was issued to a team from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi. That team, led by Dhiraj Kumar, was recognized for work recently published in the JBC (doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.266239). Merck Millipore, a life sciences division of the global pharmaceutical and chemical company, is headquartered in Billerica, Mass.
Bonini, Cleveland, Dixit elected to the IOM
Photo of Nancy BoniniPhoto of Don ClevelandPhoto of Vishva Dixit
Three ASBMB members were inducted into the Institute of Medicine during the organization’s 42nd annual meeting in mid-October. They were

  • • Nancy M. Bonini, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia;
  • • Don W. Cleveland, a professor of medicine, neurosciences, and cellular and molecular medicine at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in La Jolla, Calif., and the chairman of the department of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; and
  • • Vishva M. Dixit, vice president overseeing physiological chemistry at Genentech Inc. in San Francisco.

Seventy new members and 10 foreign associates were elected by current members this year.
Mizzou’s Hazelbauer gets Curators’ Professorship
Photo of Gerald HazelbauerGerald Hazelbauer, chairman of the biochemistry department at the University of Missouri, was selected for his institution’s Curators’ Professorship, a prestigious appointment that carries with it a raise and a stipend. Upon learning the news, Hazelbauer said, “It’s very nice to be recognized by my colleagues and institution. Like every 3-year-old, all of whom I see as scientists, my research group and I kept asking how, who, what and why.” Hazelbauer, who studies transmembrane receptors and sensory transduction, was on the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Board of Directors for four years and recently received a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health.

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