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Noller recognized for biomedical research contributions

Biologist John Pearse honored by marine sanctuary

April 7, 2003

Awards and Honors

Noller recognized for biomedical research contributions

Harry Noller
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Harry Noller, the Sinsheimer Professor of Molecular Biology and director of the Center for Molecular Biology of RNA, has been honored by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as the 2003 recipient of the Katharine Berkan Judd Award Lectureship.

The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions in biomedical research. Noller is being recognized for his groundbreaking studies of ribosomes, tiny structures that carry out protein synthesis in all living cells. The ribosome is a complex molecular machine made up of both protein and RNA, and Noller's lab has elucidated its structure and shown that the RNA component carries out the key function of peptide bond formation.

"Your work has profound ramifications in understanding the early evolution of biological systems and the mechanisms of therapeutic drugs that target protein synthesis," wrote Harold Varmus, M.D., president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in a letter to Noller announcing the award.

Noller will give the award lecture in the fall as part of the President's Research Seminar Series at the cancer center, which is in New York.

Biologist John Pearse honored by marine sanctuary

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has awarded the Sanctuary Recognition Award for Education to John Pearse, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology. This is the second Sanctuary Recognition Award for Pearse, who was honored in the science category in 1994.

The awards, sponsored by the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), were presented at the annual Sanctuary Currents Symposium on March 15. The Education Award is given to an educator who has advanced the educational goals of the sanctuary and its programs.

Pearse has led the development of a program that gets junior high and high school students involved in monitoring the rocky intertidal habitat in the sanctuary. The Seymour Intertidal Monitoring Program (SIMP) was developed in collaboration with the staff at UCSC's Seymour Marine Discovery Center, with support from the California Sea Grant College Program. (See earlier Currents story )

The goals of SIMP are to inform the public about the rocky intertidal habitat and the species that live there; directly involve students (grades 7 to 12) and volunteers in the collection of long-term data; and collect and archive data that can be analyzed to detect changes in intertidal life over time.

Pearse has received numerous teaching awards during his career, including the 1997 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Academic Senate Committee on Teaching.
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