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Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder recognized by ASBMB awards


Luciano Marraffini (left) and Robert Roeder

Two Rockefeller scientists, Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder, have received awards from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in recognition for their significant contributions to their fields. A nonprofit scientific and educational organization, the ASBMB announced its 2016 awards on August 12, and the winners will present their work at the society’s annual meeting in April.

Luciano Marraffini wins the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Scholar Award

Marraffini, an assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology, studies the adaptive immune systems, known as CRISPR-Cas systems, found in some bacteria and used in genome editing. He investigates the molecular mechanisms that make CRISPR immunity possible, as well as the evolutionary implications of this bacterial immunity to viruses, while exploring potential applications for CRISPR-Cas systems. He shares the Stadtman Award with biological chemist Georgios Skiniotis from the University of Michigan. The award recognizes scientists with 10 or fewer years of postdoctoral experience, and includes a $10,000 cash prize and travel expenses for the ASBMB annual meeting.

A native of Argentina, Marraffini received his Ph.D. in microbiology in 2007 from the University of Chicago and completed his postdoc at Northwestern University, before joining Rockefeller’s faculty in 2010. His recent honors include being chosen by Cell as one of its 40 Under 40, named a Blavatnik National Award Finalist, and receiving an Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award from the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation.

Robert Roeder wins the Herbert Tabor Research Award

Roeder, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Professor and head of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, studies the molecular mechanisms that regulate transcription, the process by which genes are copied into RNA for translation into protein. His major object is to determine how cell-specific master transcription factors act upon the molecular machinery responsible for transcription to activate or repress specific target genes. Roeder is the recipient of the Tabor Award, which recognizes excellence in biological chemistry and molecular biology, as well as contributions to the community of scientists. It includes $30,000 for research, a plaque, and travel expenses for the ASBMB annual meeting.

Roeder received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Washington in 1969, and did his postdoc at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in 1971, and came to Rockefeller as a professor in 1982. His numerous awards include the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2000 and the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 2003. Among other honors, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.