2019 MBI Sigman Lectureship Award

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Professor Edward Dennis (University of California, San Diego) received the MBI Sigman Lectureship Award at a special symposium on November 7, 2019.

The Sigman Lectureship Award was established in 2002 to honor the memory of Dr. David Sigman, a professor in the UCLA Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry, who passed away in 2001 at the age of 62.  Sigman was a founding member and former Associate Director of the Molecular Biology Institute (MBI) and was a leader in the field of chemical biology. His work uncovered the existence of nucleases and illuminated the molecular mechanisms of catalysis.

Prior to Dennis’ lecture, biochemist Professor Steven Clarke gave a tribute to Sigman. A friend and colleague of Sigman’s, Professor Edward Dennis also paid tribute to Sigman prior to his lecture, which was titled “Enzyme Hydrophobic Sites and Allosteric Membrane Interactions Regulate Signaling”.  At a lunch earlier in the day, junior researchers presented their research data to Dennis. 

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(Left) In his welcoming remarks, Professor Steven Clarke gave a tribute to Sigman. (Right) Professor Edward Dennis also paid tribute Sigman at the beginning of his lecture.

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After Dennis’ lecture in the CNSI auditorium, 

new interim MBI Director Professor Hilary Coller and biochemist Professor 

Catherine Clarke presented Dennis with an engraved glass plaque.

The graduate students who met with Dennis for lunch before his lecture –  David Boyer (Eisenberg), Orlando Martinez (Clubb), Yaqiang Wang (Feigon), Dennis, Bethan Clifford (Tarling/Vallim) and Callie Glynn (Rodriguez).

Dr. Edward A. Dennis is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the School of Medicine and Revelle College of the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Dennis received his B.A. from Yale in 1963 and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1967. He served as a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and has been a Professor at UCSD since 1970 where he has served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Vice Chair for Medical Biochemistry, and as Chair of the UCSD Faculty Academic Senate. 

SigmanThe Sigman Lectureship Award is a permanently endowed fund which was established by contributions from over 200 of Sigman’s colleagues, friends, and family, in addition to corporate donors such as the Amgen Foundation, Eli Lilly and Company, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Raytheon Systems Company. The award is presented as part of a scientific symposium, involving presentations by guest speakers and students and culminating in a keynote address by the Lectureship Award recipient.

The 2020 Sigman Symposium will be held next Fall.

Photos by Helen Houldsworth, MBI.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.