Biochemistry: New News!

June 2014
Jeanine F. Amacher, Ph.D. '14 was awarded the 2014 John W. Strohbehn Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research at the Geisel Class Day ceremony on June 7. The Strohbehn Award honors Thayer School Professor and former Dartmouth Provost Strohbehn, who passed away on February 22, 2007. The award goes to a graduating Ph.D. candidate from one of the degree-granting programs in the Geisel School of Medicine who best exemplifies qualities of a scientific scholar—personal qualities of intellectual curiosity, dedication, and commitment to the pursuit of new scientific knowledge and to teaching, as well as a sense of social responsibility to the research community.

Jeanine has accepted a postdoctoral position with Prof. John Kuriyan at UC Berkeley one of the premier research groups in the country, and is thus poised for a stellar academic trajectory. We are very proud of her. She joins a cadre of Biochemistry graduates who have won a Strohbehn, including Gary Fanger (1995), Bill Belden (2002), Neil Ganem (2006), Liz Harris (2007), and Peter Belenky (2009).

June 2014
Biochemistry Professor Surachai Supattapone has been named to the Geisel Academy of Master Educators for 2014. Supattapone joined the Biochemistry Department in 2001. He has directed and taught courses for both medical and graduate students, and has received several student teaching awards. He is also the Director of the Masters Program in Clinical Translational Research.



April 2014

Left to right: Mary Kay Parker, Harry Higgs holding Skyped-in image of honoree Vinay Ramabhadran, Lilian Kabeche, and Gray Parker

Biochemists Lilian Kabeche and Vinay Ramabhadran were awarded the E. Lucile Smith Award for Excellence in Biochemistry for their work in 2013. Both awardees are Ph.D. graduates from Biochemistry laboratories: Vinay in 2012 and Lily in 2013.

Lily is a postdoctoral research associate in Scott Gerber's lab in the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. She was nominated by her thesis advisor Duane Compton, and is the first author of "Cyclin A regulates kinetochore microtubules to promote faithful chromosome segregation." [Kabeche L, Compton DA. Nature. 2013 Oct 3;502(7469):110-3. doi: 10.1038/nature12507. Epub 2013 Sep 8.] Beyond her scientific success, Lily has been an active member of the Biochemistry program and Dartmouth Graduate Studies. She has been an active participant in the annual Biochemistry program retreat. She presented her work in a talk at this meeting a couple years ago. She has also been dedicated in helping the Dartmouth Office of Graduate Studies in the recruitment of underrepresented minorities, efforts that are crucial to increasing the diversity of the student population.

Vinay, nominated by his thesis advisor Harry Higgs, was selected on the basis of his predoctoral work that resulted not only in his own first-author paper, but also for providing extensive groundwork and insight for papers first-authored by his lab mates. [Ramabhadran, Hatch & Higgs (2013) J. Biol. Chem; Korobova, Ramabhadran & Higgs (2013) Science; Ramabhadran, Gurel & Higgs (2012) J. Biol. Chem.; Ramabhadran, Korobova, Rahme & Higgs (2011) Molec. Biol. Cell.; and Chhabra, Ramabhadran, Gerber & Higgs (2009) J. Cell. Sci.] In addition to functioning as a senior scientist in his lab, Vinay served on the MCB Graduate Committee and an active member of Dartmouth's Cricket Club and its Indian student organization, Shanti. He is currently doing postdoctoral research with Dr. Ralph Eisberg at Tufts and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Vinay is the first Smith awardee to receive his award electronically via Skype from India, where he was traveling at the time of the awards ceremony on April 11.

The E. Lucile Smith Award for Scientific Excellence in Biochemistry was established in the Dartmouth Medical School Department of Biochemistry by its Chair, T. Y. Chang, on December 14, 2004 to honor the memory of Dr. E. Lucile Smith, a distinguished member of the Biochemistry faculty who passed away on December 6, 2003 at 90 years of age. The Smith Award recognizes excellence in both predoctoral and postdoctoral research in the Biochemistry Program, as well as active participation in Biochemistry Program activities during the year. Nominations are solicited from faculty in the Program. Awardees receive a plaque and a cash prize, and their names are engraved on a perpetual plaque on display in the Biochemistry Vail 4 conference room.

The Biochemistry Department is very grateful to Gray and Mary Kay Parker and to the Booth-Bricker Fund for their generous support of this award program. Gray Parker is the nephew of Dr. Smith, and through him we are able to keep her memory alive and recognize her spirit in our graduate students and postdocs.

August 2013
Anda Zhang, a Biochemistry graduate student in Larry's Myers' lab, has been named a 2013 John H. Copenhaver, Jr. and William H. Thomas, MD 1952 Fellow. In her fifth year of graduate study, Anda studies epigenetic gene regulation and morphological switching in C. albicans.

July 2013
Duane Compton, Biochemistry Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Geisel School of Medicine, has been recognized for his research on the mechanisms of chromosome segregation though a MERIT ("Method to Extend Research in Time") Award from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The award's main purpose is to encourage continued creativity by providing an opportunity to gain up to ten years of continued grant support and will relieve Dr. Compton from having to complete frequent grant renewal applications. The award, split into two parts: an initial five-year award followed by an opportunity to extend the award three to five years based on a review of the researcher's accomplishments during the initial period, provides long-term stable support to select investigators who demonstrate "superior competence and outstanding productivity during their previous research endeavors" For Dr. Compton, the award reflects the hard work of colleagues in his lab. "It's an honor for me," he says, "but it's an honor that I share with the students and fellows that have worked in my laboratory who have done so much to contribute to our success." For more information, click here.

May 2013
Dean Madden, Biochemistry Professor and Associate Director of the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center, was named to the Geisel School of Medicine Academy of Master Educators at the Dean's State of the Medical School address on May 30. Dr. Madden was nominated by fellow faculty for this recognition for his demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching and medical education. For more information, click here.



April 2013

Left to right: Michael Zick, Gray Parker, Jeanine Amacher, Mary Kay Parker

Biochemists Michael Zick and Jeanine Amacher were awarded the E. Lucile Smith Award for Excellence in Biochemistry for their work in 2012. Michael is a postdoctoral research associate in Bill Wickner's lab. He is the first author of "Phosphorylation of the effector complex HOPS by the vacuolar kinase Yck3p confers Rab nucleotide specificity for vacuole docking and fusion," published in Molecular Biology of the Cell in September 2012. Click here for the article. Jeanine is a fifth-year graduate student in Dean Madden's lab. She is first author of "Stereochemical determinants of C-terminal specificity in PDZ peptide-binding domains: a novel contribution of the carboxylate-binding loop," e-published in December 2012 and in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in February 2013. Click here for the article. Both Jeanine and Michael are also well known for their active participation in the Biochemistry Program. Michael was a group leader in the 2012 scientific integrity training for first-year graduate students at Dartmouth College, and Jeanine is co-founder of the Principal Investigators Training (PIT) group that provides support and education for graduate students whose goal is to someday be a faculty researcher with their own lab group.

The E. Lucile Smith Award for Scientific Excellence in Biochemistry was established in the Dartmouth Medical School Department of Biochemistry by its Chair, T. Y. Chang, on December 14, 2004 to honor the memory of Dr. E. Lucile Smith, a distinguished member of the Biochemistry faculty who passed away on December 6, 2003 at 90 years of age. The Smith Award recognizes a graduate student and a postdoctoral research associate in the Biochemistry Program who have best demonstrated scientific excellence during the calendar year. Nominations are solicited from faculty in the Program. Each nominee must be the main author on a significant publication or manuscript that has been published or accepted for publication in the year of the award. In addition, he or she must show active participation in Biochemistry Program activities during the year. Awardees receive a plaque and a cash prize, and their names are engraved on a perpetual plaque on display in the Biochemistry Vail 4 conference room.

The Biochemistry Department is very grateful to Gray and Mary Kay Parker and to the Booth-Bricker Fund for their generous support of this award program. Gray Parker is the nephew of Dr. Smith, and through him we are able to keep her memory alive and recognize her spirit in our graduate students and postdocs.

April 2013
Biochemistry graduate student Anna Hatch (Higgs lab) has been awarded a P.E.O. Scholar Award for 2013-2014 from the Sisterhood of Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.). Headquartered in Des Moines, IA, the group's mission is to promote educational opportunities for women. Anna is a 4th generation recipient of this award, which consists of a check that she can use for any educational expense. She and her mentor have determined that she will use the funds to attend professional meetings related to the research work she is doing for her Ph.D. program. For more information about P.E.O. click here.

August 2012
Graduate student Lilian Kabeche (Compton lab) was awarded the Copenhaver-Thomas Fellowship for academic year 2013.

July 2012
Biochemistry Professor Duane A. Compton is one of 16 Geisel School of Medicine faculty named inaugural members of the school's Academy of Faculty Master Educators. Compton, who also is the Medical School's Senior Associate Dean for Research, joined the Biochemistry Department in 1993. Since that time he has directed and taught courses for both medical and graduate students. He is the principal investigator for the NIH training grant administered through that department and has served the Norris Cotton Cancer Center as Director of the Cancer Mechanisms Program and the Associate Director for Basic Sciences. He has published more than 75 scientific publications in journals such as Cell, Science, Nature, EMBO, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Cell Science, and Journal of Biological Chemistry.

April 2012
Professor William Wickner was selected to deliver the Max Gruber Lecture at the University of Groningen. Read more...

April 2012
Professor Dean Madden received graduate student mentoring award. Read more...

April 2012
Graduate student Anna Hatch (Higgs lab) was awarded an NSF Graduate fellowship. Read more...

April 2012
Graduate student Christopher Bahl (Madden lab) and postdoctoral research associate Hao Xu (Wickner lab) were selected to receive the 2011 E. Lucile Smith Awards for Excellence in Biochemistry.

March 2012
Professor Charles Barlowe was elected to the rank of Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology. Read more...

February 2012
Professor William Wickner was selected by The Molecular Biology Institute at UCLA to present the David S. Sigman Memorial Lecture. PosterRead more...

December 2011
Two Biochemistry faculty have been recognized this month for their excellence in research and in mentoring.

Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research Duane Compton has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Compton's research focuses on mechanisms of chromosome segregation during cell division in human cells and the effects of chromosomal instability in human tumor cells. His work is published in leading journals internationally. Read more...

At its annual poster session on December 12, the Dartmouth College Post Doc Association awarded Biochemistry Assistant Professor James Moseley the 2011 Post Doc Mentorship Award for a junior faculty member. Dr. Moseley joined the Biochemistry faculty in August 2009 and has already established himself as a strong and effective mentor. Read more...

September 2011
Professors Surachai Supattapone and Lee Witters were chosen by the Geisel School first-year medical students to receive 2011 Excellence in Education awards. Dr. Supattapone's award was for Distinguished Small Group Leader, and Dr. Witters' was for Distinguished Lecturer.

July 2011
Biochemistry Assistant Professor James B. Moseley has been recognized by The Pew Charitable Trusts as a 2011 Pew Scholar in the Biochemical Sciences. This award includes funding of $240,000 in support of Dr. Moseley's research on the cell size and shape as determinants of cell reproduction. For more information, read the full article.

June 2011
Chris Bahl, a grad student in the Madden lab, was highlighted in the June 2011 "Student Spotlight" section of the Biophysical Society Newsletter.

June 2011
Michael B. Miller, a 2011 Biochemistry Ph.D. graduate from the Supattapone lab, was selected to give the graduate student address at DMS Class Day on Saturday, June 11. Michael is in an MD-PhD student at DMS and in mid-June began his third-year medical program.


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