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Spiegel named to first class of prestigious international fellows program

May 06, 2021

sarah spiegel headshot Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D.

VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., was recently named as one of 30 scientists among the first-ever class of an international fellows program established by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

The ASBMB launched this honorific program to recognize its members — of more than 11,000 worldwide — who have made outstanding contributions to the field through their research, teaching and mentoring, or other forms of service.

“It was a great honor to be selected as one of the first members of this program and especially exciting to me since it was announced at the annual ASBMB meeting where several speakers were people that I have trained,” said Spiegel, member of the Cancer Biology research program at Massey and Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the VCU School of Medicine.

Spiegel has extensively studied the lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate, a molecule she originally discovered in the mid-1990s and has since been found to play important roles in cancer progression, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

“Dr. Spiegel is a remarkable scientist whose brilliant career has helped to launch and sustain an entire field of biochemistry,” said Suzanne Barbour, Ph.D., scientist at UNC School of Medicine who nominated Spiegel as an ASBMB fellow. “In the process, she has trained outstanding scientists and thus has contributed to the development of human resources as well.”

The 30 fellows of the first class of this program were honored during the virtual 2021 ASBMB Annual Meeting on April 27-30 as part of the society’s presidential welcome address and business meeting.

“Our first class of fellows represents a distinguished group of scientists who have demonstrated leadership and sustained commitment to the ASBMB and whose accomplishments span the breadth of our society missions to promote scientific discovery, professional development, inclusiveness and diversity, nurture the next generation of scientists and inform decision-makers and the public of the significance of scientific findings,” said Judith Bond, Ph.D., former president of the ASBMB and chair of the fellows subcommittee. “These fellows honor us by being members of the ASBMB and are great role models for aspiring scientists."

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization, whose members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities, in government laboratories and at nonprofit and industry research institutions. The Society publishes three journals: the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Lipid Research and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.

Spiegel has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Lipid Research for more than a decade and was a member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry editorial board from 2010 to 2018. She was selected as a Virginia Outstanding Scientist of the Year in 2008 and won the ASBMB’s 2009 Avanti Award in Lipids.

Written by: Massey Communications

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