Martha Cyert named a fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The Stanford biologist was recognized for her contributions to the biochemistry community, her discoveries related to the protein calcineurin, and her outstanding achievements in the areas of teaching and mentorship.
Martha Cyert, the Dr. Nancy Chang Professor and chair of the Department of Biology in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences, has been named a fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
This year, ASBMB named 17 new fellows. The scientific society was established in 2020 to recognize members for their efforts to advance the field of molecular life sciences. Fellows are honored for their outstanding accomplishments in the areas of scientific research, education, mentorship, commitment to diversity, and service to the society and the scientific community.
Cyert and the members of her lab study calcineurin, a protein phosphatase (a regulatory enzyme) that plays a critical role in muscle, immune, and neural cells. Calcineurin is best known as an important target for drugs such as cyclosporine A. These drugs suppress the activity of the immune system by inhibiting calcineurin. Cyert’s research has defined how these drugs inhibit calcineurin and has systematically uncovered many other functions of calcineurin, which is expressed in all tissues.
“Dr. Cyert is a passionate biochemist who has served ASBMB and who has made seminal contributions in phosphatase signaling,” wrote Alexandra Newton, professor of pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, who nominated Cyert for fellowship. “She is also an exemplary teacher and mentor and role model.”
“Her service to the society, as well as to the broader biochemistry and [enzyme] signaling communities, as well as her fundamental discoveries, has had and will continue to have high impact,” wrote 2024 ASBMB Fellow Matthew Gentry, who also nominated Cyert for fellowship.
“The 17 ASBMB fellows in the 2024 class have shown immense commitment to ASBMB and represent an outstanding group of scientists that push the boundaries of scientific research, mentorship, education, and advocacy,” wrote Edward Eisenstein and Judith Bond, ASBMB membership committee chair and fellows program subcommittee chair (respectively) in a joint statement in the ASBMB award announcement. “It is an honor to have these individuals represent ASBMB, and we look forward to their continued contributions as role models and mentors to current and future members of the biochemistry and molecular biology community.”
The newly named fellows will be recognized during the 2024 ASBMB annual meeting in San Antonio in March.
“I am extremely honored to be recognized by ASBMB, which does critical work to support fundamental, discovery-based research by engaging with both scientists and policymakers,” Cyert said.