2014 Achievement Awards
BMB announced the winners of the 2014 Achievement Awards in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The awards recognize past pioneers of our Department, and are made possible because of the generosity of the BMB faculty and, importantly, of the family of the late John Scocca, a long-term member of our faculty who retired in 2008.
John Scocca Award
The 2014 John Scocca Award for excellence in research on the part of a Ph.D. graduate student is awarded (independently) to Sabin Mulepati (Bailey lab) and Kaitlin Laws (Drummond-Barbosa lab).
Sabin Mulepati - For his determination of the structure of the CRISPR RNA-guided immune complex, called Cascade, bound to a single-stranded DNA target. The seahorse-shaped structure reveals how the 11 subunits of Cascade assemble into the final complex, and also how the guide RNA and DNA target strands do not form a double helix but instead adopt an underwound ribbon-like structure that likely facilities efficient target recognition.
Kaitlin Laws -For her seminal discovery that adiponectin signaling is required within stem cells for their maintenance in an insulin-independent manner, and that increased adiponectin signaling can prevent the normal stem cell loss that naturally occurs over time.
Lawrence Grossman Award
The 2014 Lawrence Grossman Award for excellence in research on the part of a postdoctoral fellow is awarded to Aaron Haeusler (Wang lab). Aaron also recently learned that he will receive a prestigious K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the NIH.
Aaron Haeusler - For his original work on hexanucleotide repeat expansions in the C9orf72 gene, recently linked to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Fronto-Temporal Dementia (FTD), which revealed that the structures of the repeat DNA and RNA are acting as initial triggers of pathogenic cascades leading to transcriptional dysregulation, RNA toxicity, and nucleolar defects in the patient cells.
Sharon Krag Award
The 2014 Sharon Krag Award for outstanding leadership on the part of a PhD graduate student or postdoctoral fellow is awarded to Hana Odeh (Matunis lab).
Hana Odeh - For her leadership is organizing a one-day workshop on scientific methods that benefited Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows in our department and other laboratory science departments at our School, and also for her contributions to many important School-wide committees.
Sincere congratulations to Hana, Kate, Aaron and Sabin on this very special honor!
1st Annual Achievement Awards Ceremony was held on March 23rd, 2014. We recognized a variety of students and faculty for their accomplishments during 2014 here.
Learn MORE about BMB pioneers — John Scocca, Larry Grossman, and Sharon Krag.