Public Release: 

ASBMB taps 8 scientists and 1 politician for top awards

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

BETHESDA, Md. - The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has announced the recipients of its annual awards competition. Eight scientists and one politician were singled out for their outstanding achievements and contributions to science. The awards will officially be presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting, April 5-9, in San Diego, Calif.

I. Robert Lehman (Stanford University, Calif.) will give the Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship. The award was established to recognize the many contributions of Herbert Tabor to the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Society. Lehman received the award for his outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of DNA metabolism, his admirable track record as a mentor, and his unparalleled service to the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

C. David Allis (Rockefeller University, New York) will be honored with the ASBMB Merck Award for his seminal contributions to the field of chromatin biology. His research has helped define cause and effect relationships between specific histone modifications and specific gene expression events, as well as defined the enzymes and mechanisms involved in epigenetic regulation. The Merck Award is given to a researcher who makes outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Alexandra C. Newton (University of California, San Diego) will be presented with the Avanti Award in Lipids. Newton has worked for over two decades on molecular aspects of lipid signaling, and as a result has been able to elucidate the molecular controls that regulate the function of protein kinase C. This award honors outstanding scientists whose research interests are in the field of lipids.

Mina J. Bissell (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.) will receive the FASEB Excellence in Science Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by women in biological science. Bissell is a world-renowned leader in the area of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) and microenvironment in regulation of tissue-specific function with special emphasis in breast cancer, where she has changed some established paradigms.

S. Walter Englander (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia) will give the Herbert A. Sober Lectureship. This lectureship, which is awarded every two years, recognizes outstanding biochemical and molecular biological research, with particular emphasis on development of methods and techniques to aid in research. Englander is an expert in hydrogen exchange and has been a central figure in the development and application of hydrogen exchange-base methods that revolutionized insight into the biochemistry and biophysics of proteins.

The Honorable Michael N. Castle, (R-DE), Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will receive the Howard K. Schachman Public Service Award. The Award recognizes an individual who best demonstrates dedication to public service in support of biomedical science. Castle was selected as this year's recipient of the Schachman Award in recognition of his repeated efforts to boost the budget of the National Institutes of Health since 2003, and for his efforts to promote a more rational Federal policy regarding use of Human embryonic stem cells.

Scott A. Strobel (Yale University, New Haven, Conn.) will receive the Schering-Plough Research Institute Award. The Schering Plough Award was established to recognize young investigators for outstanding research at an early stage of their careers. During his short career, Strobel has become a major leader in the study of the structure, function and mechanism of RNA molecules involved in catalytic processes.

John D. Scott (Oregon Health & Science University, Portland) will be honored with the William C. Rose Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to biochemical and molecular biological research and a demonstrated commitment to the training of younger scientists. Scott's work on the AKAP family of scaffold proteins has transformed the field of intracellular signaling. He has also been an exemplary trainer of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to make their own contributions to the field of signal transduction.

Michael F. Summers (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore) will receive the ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education. Summers has pioneered efforts to recruit and retain students traditionally lost to science and aided in broadening the diversity of students engaged in science. The award, administered annually by the ASBMB Education & Professional Development Committee, is given 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.


The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with over 11,900 members in the United States and internationally. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, nonprofit research institutions and industry. The Society's student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions.

Founded in 1906, the Society is based in Bethesda, Maryland, on the campus of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The Society's purpose is to advance the science of biochemistry and molecular biology through publication of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Lipid Research, and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, organization of scientific meetings, advocacy for funding of basic research and education, support of science education at all levels, and promoting the diversity of individuals entering the scientific work force.

For more information about ASBMB, see the Society's Web site at

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