Moore and Dekker to present ASBMB award lectures

Outstanding researchers win William C. Rose Award and Young Investigator Award

By Mark Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

April 08, 2011
 moore dekker

Two UMass Medical School researchers who were recently honored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) will give their award lectures on Tuesday, April 12, in Washington, DC, as part of the Experimental Biology 2011 conference. 

Melissa J. Moore, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, was named the winner of the ASBMB 2011 William C. Rose Award. Job Dekker, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology and molecular medicine, won the ASBMB 2011 Young Investigator Award. [See related story

Dr. Moore will present “Pre-mRNA Processing and mRNA Metabolism,” and Dr. Dekker will present “Three-dimensional Folding of Genomes.” 

Moore won the award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to biochemical and molecular biological research and her demonstrated commitment to the training of younger scientists. 

“Melissa’s success in mentoring is derived from her uncanny ability to enthusiastically promote cutting-edge science while providing an invigorating and supportive setting for that work,” said Melissa Jurica of the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the ASBMB award announcement. “She understands that successful science is carried out by secure and confident people. When I visited her lab as a postdoctoral candidate, everyone in her group underscored her people-managing skills while proclaiming her brilliance.” 

The William C. Rose Award was established to honor the legacy of Rose, an authority on protein nutrition and former president of the ASBMB. 

When nominating Dekker, C. Robert Matthews, PhD, the Arthur F. and Helen P. Koskinas Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology and chair and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, emphasized that Dekker’s research has brought previously invisible aspects of chromosomes into view, opening an entirely new field of study. 

“Job Dekker embodies all that one might expect in the next generation of leaders in science,” Dr. Matthews said. “Job sees the big picture, he is very creative, he is ambitious and he gets things done.” 

Tom Misteli, a senior investigator and the chief of the National Cancer Institute’s cell biology of genomes arm, echoed Matthews’ sentiments in support of Dekker’s award: “[He] is an extraordinary scientist in many ways. He is ingenious, persistent to a fault, creative and a big thinker. While many have shied away from tackling the big question of how genomes are organized in vivo, Job Dekker fearlessly and relentlessly developed a method to pursue the answer to a very big question. His work has changed how we study gene expression, and the methods he has developed will shape the way we study genomes for many years to come.” 

The ASBMB young investigator award recognizes outstanding research contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology by those who have no more than 15 years postdoctoral experience. 

About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society’s student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions. For more information about ASBMB, visit www.asbmb.org

Related story: 

Two UMMS scientists honored by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology