September 1, 2006

Research Awards honor scientific achievements

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L. Jackson Roberts II, M.D.

Research Awards honor scientific achievements

L. Jackson Roberts II, M.D., was presented the Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research during the Fall Faculty Assembly on Aug. 24.

Ten professors were honored with Chancellor's Research Awards during the annual first-of-year gathering at the Student Life Center. Fifteen others were recognized for 25 years of service to the University with commemorative chairs.

“I would like to thank those of you who have made, to Vanderbilt, the enormous and generous commitment of 25 years of your professional life,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee. “Your commitment contributes to the unity and ever-renewal of this university.”

Roberts is an internationally renowned professor of Pharmacology and Medicine whose discovery of isoprostanes — compounds important in the measurement of free-radical damage — has given researchers the ability to reliably quantify oxidative stress. In the past 10 years, Roberts has given more than 50 invited presentations — including the keynote address at the First European Workshop on Isoprostanes — and authored more than 120 articles in referred journals. For his discovery of isoprostanes, the Society of Free Radical Biology and Medicine selected him for its Lifetime Achievement Award.

“In his work at Vanderbilt, Jack has greatly advanced the understanding of the biology of many diseases and translated that understanding into therapeutic treatments that save human lives,” Gee said.

“Dr. Roberts brings great distinction to our community through his work here.”

Roberts received $5,000 and a pewter cup engraved with his name, which he will keep for a year, until the next Sutherland Prize winner is named.

The winners of the Chancellor's Research Awards received $1,000 and an engraved pewter cup. Others from the Medical Center include:

• Hassane Mchaourab, Ph.D., associate professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, for his article “Structural Basis of Energy Transduction During the Functional Cycle of MsbA,” published in Science, vol. 308.

• Chris Kao, M.D., Ph.D., research associate professor of Neurological Surgery; Peter Konrad, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering; Duco Jansen, Ph.D., associate professor of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering; and Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Ph.D., associate professor of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering, for their paper “Optical Stimulation of Neural Tissue In Vivo,” published in Optics Letters.

• Danielle Drummond-Barbosa, Ph.D., assistant professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, for her article “Direct Control of Stem Cell Division and Germ Line Development by Neural Insulin in Drosophilia,” published in Science, vol. 309.

• Walter Chazin, Ph.D., Chancellor's Professor of Biochemistry and Physics, and Ellen Fanning, the Stevenson Professor for Molecular Biology of Biological Sciences, for their article “Insights into hRPA32 C-Terminal Domain-Mediated Assembly of the Simian Virus 40 Replisome,” published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.