BOOKER, Squire

Evan Pugh Professor and Eberly Distinguished Chair in Science, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Chemistry, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Squire Booker

Statement of interest

I have been a proud member of the ASBMB for almost 20 years and have had opportunities to participate in the society at some of the highest and influential levels, beginning as chair of its Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) in 2011 and now as a member of the Finance Committee. As a member of the MAC, and then as chair, I helped to inaugurate the Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award and also established and organized the very first ASBMB grant-writing workshop, which has since blossomed into a highly successful and visible program called IMAGE.

Through these and many other efforts in the society, as well as through efforts as a member of the steering committee of the American Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), I have developed a vast network of highly talented individuals across the entire academic spectrum who have a keen interest in moving the ASBMB forward.

Currently, like many other scientific societies, we face challenges associated with augmenting our membership base and attendance at our annual meeting. This picture must change for ASBMB to remain healthy and influential. In the past, the leadership and decision makers in the society have come almost exclusively from elite universities and medical schools. My goal will be to tap people from outside of these elite institutions (e.g. minority serving institutions and primary undergraduate institutions) to also participate in the governance of the society in order for us to have a more holistic vision as we formulate strategies to move forward.

Education and training

  • B.A. with a concentration in Chemistry, Austin College
  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Awards and honors

  • Associate Editor for ACS journal Biochemistry, 2019–present
  • MIT Graduate School Commencement Speaker, 2019
  • Elected, National Academy of Sciences, 2019
  • NIGMS Council Member, 2019–present
  • Penn State Graduate School Commencement Speaker, 2018
  • Named, Evan Pugh Professor, 2018
  • Appointed, Eberly Family Distinguished Chair in Science, 2017
  • Elected, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017
  • Awarded, Faculty Scholar Medal, 2016
  • Selected, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, 2015
  • Elected, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2014
  • Awarded, Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, 2011
  • Awarded, Eberly College of Science Dean’s Climate and Diversity Award, 2009
  • Awarded Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, 2004
  • Awarded, NSF Faculty Career Award, 2002
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 1995–1999
  • NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, 1994–1995


  • ASBMB Minority Affairs Committee member, 2008–2013
  • ASBMB Minority Affairs Commitee chair, 2011–2013
  • Established ASBMB’s first grant-writing workshop, 2011
  • ASBMB Council (2011–2018) and voting member, 2013–2018
  • ASBMB Program Planning Committee, 2015–2016
  • ASBMB Meetings Committee, 2016–2019
  • ASBMB Finance Committee, 2017–present
  • ACS Biological Division advisory committee, 2016–2019
  • Steering Committee for American Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, 2016–present
  • Co-organizer of the ASBMB annual meeting, 2016