Newswise — The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology this week named a dozen scientists the winners of its annual awards. The winners were nominated by colleagues and other leaders in their fields for making significant contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology and the training of emerging scientists.
The recipients will give talks about their work at the society's 2019 annual meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Experimental Biology conference April 6–9 in Orlando.
ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education
Neil Garg, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, won the ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education. This award includes a cash prize of $3,000 and is given annually to a scientist who encourages effective teaching and learning of biochemistry and molecular biology through his or her own teaching, leadership in education, writing, educational research, mentoring or public enlightenment. Garg was the 2015 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching California Professor of the Year.
Ruma Banerjee, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, won the ASBMB–Merck Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize. Banerjee is an associate editor for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which the ASBMB publishes. She has served on the ASBMB governing council as well.
ASBMB Young Investigator Award
Christine Dunham, an associate professor at the Emory University School of Medicine, won the society’s Young Investigator Award. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize and recognizes outstanding research contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology by a scientist who has no more than 15 years postdoctoral experience. Dunham is an editorial board member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which the ASBMB publishes. She has served on the ASBMB’s meeting program planning committee as well.
Avanti Award in Lipids
Vytas Bankaitis, a professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, won the Avanti Award in Lipids, which recognizes outstanding research contributions in the area of lipids and includes a $3,000 cash prize. Bankaitis is a past director of the ASBMB Lipid Research Division. He has served on the ASBMB’s meeting program planning committee as well.
Bert and Natalie Vallee Award
Craig Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, won the Bert and Natalie Vallee Award in Biomedical Science. The award, which was established by the Bert and N. Kuggie Vallee Foundation in 2012, recognizes international achievements in the sciences basic to medicine and consists of a $10,000 cash prize. Thompson is on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s medical advisory board, the American Association for Cancer Research’s board of directors, and the the Lasker Prize jury.
Brian Kuhlman, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, won the DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences. The award was established by family, friends and colleagues to honor the legacy of Warren L. DeLano, the creator of the widely used PyMOL open-source molecular viewer. The award, which includes a $3,000 cash prize, is given to a scientist for the most accessible and innovative development or application of computer technology to enhance research in the life sciences at the molecular level.
Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award
Nicholas Tonks, a professor at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, won the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award. The award was established by friends and colleagues of the Stadtmans to preserve their legacies as scientists and mentors. It includes a $10,000 cash award and is given to an established scientist for outstanding achievement in basic research in the fields encompassed by the ASBMB. Tonks is a fellow of the Royal Society and was a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.
Herbert Tabor Research Award
Jeremy Thorner, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, won the Herbert Tabor Research Award. This award was established by the ASBMB to recognize the many contributions of Herbert Tabor, who served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for about four decades. It is given for excellence in biological chemistry, molecular biology and contributions to the community of scientists and includes a $30,000 research award. Thorner was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2007 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2015. He is a member of the ASBMB’s membership committee and has served as an editorial board member for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which the ASBMB publishes.
Mildred Cohn Award in Biological Chemistry
Angela Gronenborn, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, won the Mildred Cohn Award in Biological Chemistry. The award recognizes scientists at all stages of their careers who have made substantial advances in understanding biological chemistry using innovative physical approaches. The award was established to honor the pioneering scientific accomplishments and the spirit of the late Cohn, the first female president of the society, and includes a $5,000 cash prize. Gronenborn was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007 and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences earlier this year. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which the ASBMB publishes, and president of the Biophysical Society.
Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award
Jorge Torres, an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, won the Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award. This award was established to honor an outstanding scientist who has shown a strong commitment to encouraging underrepresented minorities to enter the scientific enterprise and who has offered effective mentorship of those within it. The winner is chosen by the ASBMB's Minority Affairs Committee and the award includes a $3,000 cash prize. Torres has been recognized in the past with awards from the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes Foundation and others.
Walter Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipids
Shu Sin Chng, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, won the Walter Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipids. The award was established by ASBMB's Lipid Research Division and recognizes outstanding research contributions in the area of lipids by young investigators who are assistant professors (or equivalent) with no more than 10 years of experience since receiving their degrees (Ph.D. and/or M.D.). It includes a $2,000 cash prize.
William C. Rose Award
Dorothy Shippen, a professor at Texas A&M University, won the William C. Rose Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to biochemical and molecular biological research and a demonstrated commitment to the training of younger scientists. The award consists of a $3,000 cash prize. Shippen also is a member of the ASBMB Public Affairs Advisory Committee.
In addition to the cash prize, each ASBMB award consists of a plaque and transportation expenses to present a lecture at the annual ASBMB meeting.
About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 11,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society publishes three journals: the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Lipid Research, and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. For more information about ASBMB, visit http://www.asbmb.org.