1997 News Archive

November 7, 1997

Walter F. Boron Elected a Fellow of the AAAS

Walter, '81 Searle Scholar, is currently Chairman of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale University School of Medicine. His election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science honors his major contributions to the understanding of pH regulation. Walter is also giving the Carl W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lecture of the Renal Section of the American Physiological Society at the FASEB meeting in San Francisco April 18-22, 1998.

October 22, 1997

Elaine V. Fuchs to Receive the Women in Cell Biology Senior Award from the American Society for Cell Biology

Elaine, '81 Searle Scholar and current Chair of the Searle Scholars Program Advisory Board, was selected as the "man or woman" worthy of recognition both "for scientific achievement in cell biology and a strong commitment to fostering the careers of women in science". She will receive the award at the ASCB Annual Meeting in December, 1997.

October 10, 1997

Michael Karin, '84 Searle Scholar and Advisory Board Member 1993-1997, Recognized Again among the Top 10 Authors of High-Impact Papers in Biomedicine (1990-1996)

Michael ranked ninth, with 4772 citations for 9 high-impact papers. Rankings were made by the Institute for Scientific Information. Former Advisory Board Member Ronald Evans was also among the Top 10.

July 31, 1997

The American Chemical Society Division of Biological Chemistry has awarded its Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry to Daniel Herschlag (1993 Searle Scholar)

Daniel was also recently awarded a five-year, $500,000 fellowship by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. His research focuses on the chemical and physical principles underlying catalysis by proteins and RNA enzymes.

July 24, 1997

Searle Scholar Awarded Charles E. Culpeper Foundation Award

David S. Bredt was awarded one of the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation's 1997 Scholarships in Medical Science. The Culpeper Awards support the career developement of young academic physicians. Congratulations David!

June 24, 1997

Stuart L. Schreiber and Timothy J. Mitchison to Co-Direct New Institute for Chemistry and Cell Biology

The nascent Institute for Chemistry & Cell Biology will be sited at Harvard Medical School and will be fully operational sometime next year. It is a joint project between the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology) and Harvard Medical School (Department of Cell Biology); Stu Schreiber will continue to run his lab at the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, and Tim Mitchison will have a separate lab at the Department of Cell Biology, in addition to their involvement in the Institute. About 50 people will populate in the Institute once it reaches steady state. Other faculty involved include Searle Scholar Gregory L. Verdine, along with Marc Kirschner, Eric Jacobsen, and Matthew Shair.

The idea of the Institute is to generate new ways of finding ligands for target proteins, and then to use those new methods to produce inhibitors and activators of various processes in cell biology -- not drug candidates (although some may turn into drug candidates in the end) but probes for cell biology research. It is anticipated that the most productive way forward will be combinatorial chemistry, and new kinds of chemistry are envisioned to generate libraries that "look like" natural products. The need for such an approach is intensified by the huge amount of information pouring out of the Genome Project. As information on the sequences of all the genes becomes available, there is an urgent need for new ways to work out what their products do.

Thanks to Cedric Chernick for the initial report and to Rebecca Ward for most of the above information. As Cedric so aptly put it:

"One of the institute's purposes is 'to create small-molecule ligands for every protein that exists.' As the famous Chicago architect [Daniel H. Burnham] once said: 'Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood'."

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