Dennis Dean honored as a Fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | VTX

Dennis Dean, University Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and founding director of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech, was recently honored as a Fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for his efforts to advance science molecular life through outstanding achievement in areas such as scientific research, diversity, education, mentorship and service to the scientific community.

“Dennis has made groundbreaking discoveries that define the biological basis for the formation of iron-sulfur aggregates. He discovered that simple and complex iron-sulfur clumps, necessary to sustain life on earth, are pre-assembled on protein scaffolds, and also uncovered the mechanism of sulfur trafficking into cells,” said XJ Meng, acting executive director of Fralin Life. Institute of Science.

“These discoveries have had a profound impact on the fields of microbial biology and biological sciences in general. Dennis’ work has been highly cited by his peers with over 23,390 citations and an h-index of 88.”

Dean made these outstanding contributions to microbiology and biochemistry, using genetic and biochemical approaches to understand fundamental microbial processes. Dean’s academic appointment is in the Department of Biochemistry at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and his research team focuses on the enzymes that assemble iron-sulfur clusters, important cofactors for vital processes such as nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis and respiration. .

Selection as a Fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is an honor bestowed upon the most distinguished members of the ASBMB. Fellows are recognized for their contributions to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as for their meritorious work to advance the molecular life sciences.

“When I was a graduate student, we all aspired to have our work published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Since then, our group has published our best and most cited work in this ASBMB journal, so this recognition is indeed a valuable honor for me,” Dean said.

Fellows receive a crystal award and lapel pin and are recognized by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in various public and online forums and at the ASBMB annual meeting.

Squire Booker, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and molecular biology at Pennsylvania State University, Evan Pugh, who named Dean, wrote that “Dean can be said to be the father of the field of cluster biogenesis. iron-sulfur”.

Dean has also helped improve molecular life science education and awareness at Virginia Tech and throughout Virginia. He has an abiding interest in providing research experiences for undergraduates and has hosted over 50 undergraduate researchers in his lab.

He serves on the Advisory Board of Virginia Tech’s Office of Undergraduate Research which in 2014 established the Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and the Dennis Dean Lecture on Undergraduate Research. cycle and creative scholarships. More than 200 undergraduate students attend this conference each spring. In 2017, Dean established an Undergraduate Research Endowment and funds generated from the endowment are used to provide scholarships to underserved students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to gain undergraduate research experience. Students sponsored by this, and a similar separate endowment provided by Horace Fralin, for whom the Institute of Life Sciences is named, meet regularly with the Dean to discuss aspects of their professional and personal development.

Dean received a Bachelor of Arts from Wabash College in 1973 and is a Distinguished Alumnus of Purdue University College of Science, earning his Ph.D. in 1979. He was a National Institutes of Health pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellow. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, he was a research scientist at the Charles Kettering Laboratory.

During his tenure at Virginia Tech, he served as Executive Director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Acting Vice President for Research and Innovation. He previously held the title of Stroobants Professor of Biotechnology and is currently University Professor Emeritus, has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Bacteriology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and was elected to the Publications Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular biology.

He currently sits on the ethics committee of the American Society for Microbiology. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a newly elected Fellow of the Virginia Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Dean received extramural funding to support his ongoing research from when he was a graduate student at Purdue University. Funding agencies that have supported his research include the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research, The DuPont Company, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. .

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