Chern Memorial Award Presented To Wistar Institute Postdoctoral Fellow

June 09, 1998

PHILADELPHIA, Penn. -- The Wistar Institute Training Committee has chosen Dr. Nickolai Barlev, a postdoctoral fellow working in the Wistar laboratory of Shelley Berger, Ph.D., to receive the 1998 Ching Jer Chern Memorial Award. The award is given annually to the Wistar postdoctoral fellow who has published the best scientific paper during the year.

Dr. Barlev came to Wistar in 1997, after working in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and earning his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His paper, "The Regulation of GCN5 Histone Acetyltransferase Activity via Bromodomain-Mediated Binding and Phosphorylation by the Ku-DNA-Dependent Protein Kinase Complex," appeared in the March 1998 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Collaborating with him were six other scientists, including Dr. Berger, Carol Ying and Lin Liu of The Wistar Institute.

"Dr. Barlev's work is very important," explains Dr. Berger. "He is widely cited in his field and does a service to us at The Wistar Institute by being very interactive and helping us widely with technical questions. I am very pleased to have him working in my lab." Dr. Barlev's research focuses on the improper regulation of chromatin acetylation, which may cause serious defects in gene activation and thus lead to cancer.

Dr. Ching Jer Chern was a member of Wistar's scientific staff from 1974 until his death from cancer in 1987. The endowment that supports the award was established in 1989 by Dr. Chern's widow, June, as a way of paying tribute to her husband's work at Wistar on the genetic basis of cancer. Each year, Mrs. Chern travels from her home in California to make the award presentation.

The Wistar Institute, established in 1892, was the first independent medical research facility in the country. For more than 100 years, Wistar scientists have been making history and improving world health through their development of vaccines for diseases that include rabies, German measles, infantile gastroenteritis (rotavirus), and cytomegalovirus; discovery of molecules like interleukin-12, which are helping the immune system fight bacteria, parasites, viruses and cancer; and location of genes that contribute to the development of diseases like breast, lung and prostate cancer. Wistar is a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center.

The Wistar Institute

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