Nobel laureate claims the 2010 Herbert Tabor Lectureship

November 11, 2009

Phillip A. Sharp, a world leader of research in molecular biology and biochemistry and an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been named winner of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship.

Sharp will give his award lecture, titled "The Biology of small RNAs," at the 2010 annual meeting at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 24, in Anaheim, Calif.

Sharp's research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977, for which he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Richard J. Roberts.

"Phil's work has been characterized by a remarkable creativity -- he has literally broken open whole new fields -- and also by an equally remarkable track record for training outstanding scientists," said ASBMB President Gregory A. Petsko. "I can personally testify to his willingness to help young colleagues and to the generosity with which he has given his time to numerous good causes. He is a shining example of what a senior scientist should be."

Currently, Sharp has turned his attention to understanding RNA interference, the process by which RNA molecules act as switches to turn genes on and off. This recently discovered phenomenon has revolutionized biology and could potentially generate a new class of therapeutics.

Sharp did his undergraduate studies at Union College in Barbourville, Ky., where he majored in chemistry and mathematics, then completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969, studying under noted physical chemist Victor Bloomfield.

While at the University of Illinois, Sharp read the 1966 volume of the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology, titled "The Genetic Code," and became interested in molecular biology and genetics. He subsequently obtained a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the structure of sex factor and drug resistance plasmids in bacteria. In 1971, Sharp began a second postdoc, studying gene expression at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under the renowned James D. Watson.

In 1974, Sharp joined MIT's Center for Cancer Research, now known as the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and has remained on the MIT campus ever since. He has held numerous leadership positions along the way: He was director of the Center for Cancer Research from 1985 to 1991, head of the biology department from 1991 to 1999 and director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research from 2000 to 2004.

Sharp, who has authored more than 350 scientific papers, has received numerous awards and honorary degrees and has served on advisory boards for the government, academic institutions, scientific societies and companies. His other awards include the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the General Motors Research Foundation Alfred P. Sloan Jr. Prize for Cancer Research, the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the National Medal of Science and the inaugural Double Helix Medal from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Sharp is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

In addition, Sharp is a co-founder of Biogen (now known as Biogen Idec) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
-end-
The Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship was established by ASBMB to recognize the many contributions of Herbert Tabor to both the Journal of Biological Chemistry and to the society.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.