The Protein Society, an international society dedicated to the advancement of protein research, recently announced its 2022 Award winners, several of whom have been funded by MCB’s Molecular Biophysics (MB) cluster. The Protein Society Awards recognize outstanding efforts of researchers who have distinguished themselves with significant achievements in protein research and who have made exceptional contributions in leadership, teaching, and service. Read more about the MCB-funded winners below.
Hans Neurath Award Winner – Squire Booker, Ph.D. The Hans Neurath Award honors those who have made an exceptional contribution to basic protein research. Professor Squire Booker (Penn State University) is recognized for his research which has provided deep insight into the governing molecular logic underpinning biosynthetic pathways, enzyme cofactors, drug action and metabolism, and the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.
Learn more about Squire Booker’s NSF funded research.
Stein & Moore Award Winner – Daniel Herschlag, Ph.D. The Stein & Moore Award recognizes eminent leader in protein science who have made sustained, high-impact research contributions to the field. Professor Daniel Herschlag (Stanford University) has identified the principle of “catalytic promiscuity,” a critical missing link in evolution. In addition, his lab developed the RNA chaperone hypothesis, demonstrated the role of RNA binding proteins in coordinating gene expression, and has been on the forefront of developing cutting edge techniques that illuminate new aspects of protein behavior.
Learn more about Daniel Herschlag’s NSF funded research.
Protein Science Young Investigator Award Winners – Nicolas Fawzi, Ph.D. and Nozomi Ando, Ph.D. The Protein Science Young Investigator Award recognizes a scientist in the first 8 years of an independent career who has made an important contribution to the study of proteins.
Professor Nicolas Fawzi (Brown University) is an internationally recognized leader in his field, his efforts were among the first to bring structural to proteins following phase separation. The Fawzi lab has provided insight into the physiology of membrane-less organelles and their pathological dysfunction associated with cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Learn more about Nicolas Fawzi’s NSF funded research.
Professor Nozomi Ando (Cornell University) has pioneered new experimental and computational methods to illuminate the molecular mechanisms of protein allostery. Her research on diffuse scattering, faint and smeary signals in the background of x-ray diffraction images from protein crystals is noted with high regard. She is also recognized for her work in advancing structural biology education and advocating for diversity in STEM. Learn more about Nozomi Ando’s NSF funded research.
The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) congratulates three MCB-funded researchers for recognition by The Protein Society. Catherine Drennan, Karen Fleming, and Martin Gruebele were among seven recipients of the 2020 Protein Society Awards announced March 12.
Professor Catherine Drennan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is the recipient of the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award. The award recognizes “exceptional contributions in protein science” having a large impact on the scientific understanding of biology. The Society cites Dr. Drennan’s contribution to the understanding of the biology of metalloproteins as well as her advocacy for “inclusion and equity”in science and education.
Professor Karen Fleming (Johns Hopkins University) is the recipient of the Carl Brändén Award. The award honors an outstanding protein scientist who makes “exceptional contributions” in the areas of education or service. Dr. Fleming is cited for her work on thermodynamic measurements of membrane protein folding. She also received recognition for her service work with major scientific societies and her efforts to address gender biases.
Professor Martin Gruebele (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) has been awarded the Hans Neurath Award. The award recognizes researchers who have made notable contributions to basic protein research. Dr. Gruebele is cited for his work on the use of flash heating and ultrafast spectroscopy for studying protein folding and for studying flash folding in live cells.
When reflecting on his election as AAAS fellow, Dr. Clouse said, “I was very pleased that my peers considered our 25 year research effort on brassinosteroid action to be worthwhile. The success of the program was the result of hard work by more than 30 postdoctoral scientists and graduate students and being fortunate to have excellent collaborators, particularly Drs. Huber and Goshe. The initial belief of NSF program directors in the importance of our work and the continued and growing NSF support over the years was crucial for the success of the program, both in terms of research and training, and is greatly appreciated. I feel fortunate to be able to serve as an NSF program director near the end of my career, where I can perhaps contribute by identifying new projects that may continue to enjoy the long-term success that we experienced.”
Please join MCB as we congratulate Dr. Steven Clouse on his election to the rank of AAAS Fellow!
Dr. Raquel Lieberman (Left) and Mr. Casey Bethel, Georgia’s 2017 Teacher of the Year (Right)
Mr. Casey Bethel was recently honored as Georgia’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. He teaches advanced placement (AP) Biology, AP Physics, Biology, and Physical Sciences at New Manchester High School in Douglasville, Georgia. Recipients of this prestigious award are outstanding local and state public school teachers in Georgia who serve as shining examples of excellence in education, and Mr. Bethel is the first STEM teacher in over a decade to receive this award. He notes, “This award is a huge honor, and in many ways it serves as validation of the hard work and sacrifices I have put into growing in this career. I hope that it further inspires my students to work hard and pursue their dreams.”
Mr. Bethel credits his accomplishment and growth as an educator to the many summers he spent working in Dr. Raquel Lieberman’s lab supported in part by a Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)-funded Research Experience for Teachers (RET) supplement. As described in the Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 12-075), RET supplements enable K-12 science educators to participate in NSF-funded scientific research projects with the goal of enhancing their professional development through the experience of conducting research at the emerging frontiers of science in order to bring new knowledge to the classroom. Dr. Lieberman actively recruited Mr. Bethel and requested a RET supplement when designing the broader impacts of her MCB-funded 2009 CAREER award. You can find out more about the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award here.
The Lieberman lab uses techniques, such as protein crystallography and computer modeling, to determine structure–function relationships of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma. Mr. Bethel notes, “Dr. Lieberman welcomed me and made me a contributing member of her team. Every year since, my wealth of knowledge has grown and my teaching practices have improved. My students are better prepared for college science courses now, and more than 50 of them are excelling in STEM majors and careers.” Additional outcomes of the RET experience for Mr. Bethel and Dr. Lieberman include co-authorship of a scientific research paper undergoing peer review, and the publication of a teaching unit describing multimedia-guided inquiry for high school science classrooms in the Journal of Chemical Education.
Join us in congratulating Mr. Casey Bethel as Georgia’s 2017 Teacher of the Year and acknowledging the commitment of Dr. Raquel Lieberman to expanding the broader impacts of her research as MCB celebrates this outstanding recognition.
This work is partially funded by the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Award #MCB-0845445.
Dr. Kamal Shukla, Program Director in the Molecular Biophysics Cluster in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, was recognized by the Biophysical Society as the 2015 recipient of their prestigious Distinguished Service Award. Recipients of the Distinguished Service Awards have made an exceptional contribution to the field of biophysics and in its advancement outside of research. Dr. Shukla was recognized for “his tireless efforts in promoting research at the interface between the biological and physical sciences and exceptional leadership in uniting scientists from across many Directorates at the National Science Foundation.”
Dr. Shukla is an Elected Fellow (2000) of the AAAS and has received many awards from the NSF, including the Director’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010. Join us in congratulating Dr. Shukla as the Division celebrates this outstanding recognition.