Hinnebusch and Leonard Elected to NAS
Alan Hinnebusch and Warren Leonard have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, as announced in April 2015. Hinnebusch (http://irp.nih.gov/pi/alan-hinnebusch) is chief of the NICHD Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Development. His lab studies the regulation of amino acid biosynthetic genes in budding yeast as a means of dissecting molecular mechanisms of gene regulation at the translational and transcriptional levels. His research topics include mechanisms and regulation of translation initiation; regulation of a translation initiation factor 2 kinase called general control nonderepressible (GCN) 2; and mechanism of transcriptional activation by GCN4. Leonard (http://irp.nih.gov/pi/warren-leonard) is chief of the NHLBI Laboratory of Molecular Immunology. His laboratory has discovered multiple specific forms of immunodeficiency, including those caused by mutations in the genes encoding the intracellular signaling molecule Janus kinase 3, which associates with the common gamma chain, and the receptor for interleukin (IL) 7. Early in his career, Leonard cloned and characterized the human receptor for the immune cytokine IL‑2, making him the first to clone the receptor for a type 1 cytokine. This led to studies in which he discovered the existence of the IL-2 receptor beta chain and then to a major breakthrough in which he discovered that mutations in the gene encoding the human IL-2 receptor gamma chain resulted in X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (commonly known as “Bubble Boy Disease”). Hinnebusch and Leonard now join 50 of their current NIH colleagues previously elected to the prestigious NAS.
Roger Glass Receives 2015 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award
This April, the Sabin Vaccine Institute presented the 2015 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award to Roger Glass, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIH Fogarty International Center and associate director for international research at the NIH (http://www.fic.nih.gov/About/Pages/director.aspx). Glass was recognized for his many contributions to improving children’s health worldwide, including novel scientific research on the prevention of gastroenteritis from rotaviruses and noroviruses. Glass worked for more than 20 years in partnership with Drs. M.K. Bhan, Harry Greenberg, Krishna Ella, and others to develop a novel rotavirus vaccine for India that could be marketed to the public for $1.00 per dose, a fraction of the cost of the existing vaccines. This vaccine was just licensed in India and publicly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A similar effort led to the development of a new vaccine now licensed in Vietnam. The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a nonprofit organization of scientists, researchers, and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases. The institute was established in honor of Albert B. Sabin, the developer of the oral polio vaccine.
Michael Lenardo and Wei Yang Elected to “Older” AAAS
Michael Lenardo and Wei Yang have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an organization that includes some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts. Members of the 2015 class, announced in April, include winners of the Nobel prize and the Pulitzer prize; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Tony awards. Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King, Jr., in the twentieth. Lenardo (http://irp.nih.gov/pi/michael-lenardo) is chief of NIAID’s Molecular Development of the Immune System Section. His laboratory investigates the molecular regulation of T lymphocytes, particularly as it relates to immunological tolerance, apoptosis, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus. Yang (http://irp.nih.gov/pi/wei-yang) is chief of the Mechanism of DNA Repair, Replication, and Recombination Section in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Her group studies DNA recombination, repair, and replication, and in particular, V(D)J recombination, mismatch repair, nucleotide-excision repair, and translesion DNA synthesis.