GDBBS Awards Banquet 2011

The 2nd Annual GDBBS Awards Banquet was held on September 16, 2011 at the Druid Hills Golf Club. Click here to download the event program.

Keynote Speaker

Max Cooper, MD

Dr. Max Cooper is a GRA Eminent Scholar and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine here at Emory University.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the Institute of Medicine ofthe National Academies, and the Royal Society of Medicine. He is the recipient of the Samuel J. Meltzer Founder's Award of the Society for Experimental.Biology and Medicine (1966), the Sandoz Prize in Immunology (1990), the 3M Life Sciences Award (1990), the American College of Physicians Science Award (1994), Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Association ofImmunologists (2000) andthe Clinical Immunology Society (2004), the Award for Distinction in Biomedical Research from the Association of American Medical Colleges (2008), Avery-Landsteiner Prize (2008), and the Robert Koch Award (2010).

For many years, Dr. Cooper and his colleagues have been engaged in comparative studies of nonnallymphocyte development and function with a special emphasis on B lineage cells. They have used this information to study defects of B celI differentiation in individuals with immunodeficiency diseases, lymphoid malignancies and autoimmune diseases. Highlights of our research accomplishments include the delineation of separate T and B cell lineages, identification of the hematopoietic tissue origin of B lineage cells, identification of precursor B cells, demonstration that IgM-bearing B lymphocytes give rise to B cells that switch to the production of other Ig isotypes, initial description of the lymphoid folIicle associated epithelial "M" cells in the intestine and their transcytotic function, and discovery of an alternative adaptive immlme system lnjawless vertebrates featuring antigen receptors generated by the assembly of leucine-rich-repeat sequences during development of T-like and B-like lymphocyte lineages. Current studies focus on evolution of the adaptive immune system, the development of monoclonal lamprey antibodies for biomedical uses, and the immunoregulatoI'y roles ofFc receptor-like molecules (FCRLl-5) expressed by human B cells, with an emphasis on memory B cells.

GDBBS Student Committees

Division Student Advisory Council (DSAC)

Michael East (BCDB)

Brenda Huang (GMB)

Gopi Mohan (IMP)

Elizabeth Ohneck(MMG)

Sherry Adesina(MSP)

Stephanie Hinkle (NHS)

Katherine Reding(NS)

Erin Keebaugh (PBEE)

Career Development Committee (CDC)

Valerie Baranets

Stetka Gyoneva

Lani King

Damon Lamb

Chris Makinson

Lisa Matragrano

Alexandra Mercante

Katie Vance

GDBBS Involved in Volunteerism at Emory (GIVE)

Patricia Campbell

Sunshine Epps

Meriem Gaval

Amanda Wendt

Students of the Year

Connie Arthur
Advisor: Richard Cummings
Mary Katherine Harrison
Advisor: Harold Saavedra
Erin West
Advisor: Rafi Ahmed
William Kaiser III
Advisor: John Hepler
Christopher Vellano
Advisor: John Hepler
Silvia Eufinger
Advisor: Viola Vaccarino
Meriem Gaval Cruz
Advisor: David Weinshenker
Peter (Pierre) Ankomah
Advisor: Bruce Levin

Award Recipients

Faculty Mentor Award

K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD

Graduate Career Award

Stephanie Zlatic

Advisor: Victor Faundez, MD, PhD

Outreach/Community Service Award

Michael Mina

Advisor: Keith Klugman, MD, PhD

Professional Leadership Award

Kristi Porter

Advisor: Roy Sutliff, PhD

Student Mentor Award

Erica Bozeman

Advisor: Periasamy Selvaraj, PhD

Student Teaching Award

James Burkett

Advisor: Larry Young, PhD

Distinguished Alumnus Award

James L. Riley, PhD graduated from the Genetics and Melecular Biology Program in Fall of 1994. Jim is an Associate Professor Research Track at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, where he has been since 1999. He was recently appointed as a joint faculty member in the Department of Microbiology.

As a student, Jim coauthored 6 papers, with two first authorships, one in The Jl and the other in Immunity. After leaving the lab and going back into the Army (he was a ROTC) he ended up being stationed for his postdoc at the Walter Reed Arrriy Institute of Research with Dr. Carl June. The timing was perfect as Jim immediately contributed to the discovery and molecular basis for the HIV co-receptors. Upon completion of his postdoc in 1999, he moved with Dr. June to U. Penn and was appointed as an Assistant Professor. While U. Penn will not allow him to change academic tracks, he has excelled. His research focuses on costimulatory and coinhibitory receptors that function during T cell mediated immune responses to HIV. He has published in total 66 papers with an impressive h-index of 35. As a point of reference, many folks at Emory coming up for Full professor with tenure have h-indices under 25. He has 8 reviewer articles, 2 book chapters and is a partner on 8 patents. He is extremely well funded with 10 current sources that include RO1, PPGs, and core directorships, in which he is the PI. He has had numerous invitations to speak in departmental settings and at national meetings.

He has served as reviewers for funding agencies including NIH where he has been regular member on some and ad hoc on others. He is an ad hoc reviewer for journals in his field and is a Section Editor for The Journal of Immunology. As an SE he handles ~90 manuscripts a year for the journal.

Jim, has become a terrific scientist with a terrific future ahead of him. His advisor Jeremy Boss along with GDBBS are very proud of his accomplishments and feel he is deserving of this recognition.

Special Thanks

On behalf of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation to Dean Lisa Tedesco and the James T. Laney Graduate School for their financial contributions for this event. The GDBBS is deeply grateful for your generosity.

We would also like to thank our keynote speaker Max Cooper for the contributions you have made to the success of the Division and for sharing your insights.

To all faculty, students, and staff thank you for your continual efforts in making the Graduate Division among the most successful programs in modern biological and biomedical research and a true model for interdisciplinary training. I would especially like to thank three members of our LGS and GDBBS Staffwho contributed to the success of this event: Monica Taylor, Robin Harpak and Katie Busch. It is through the support of individuals like you that we are capable of organizing such a special occasion.

Thanks to all of you for taking time out of your schedule to help us celebrate the achievements of students and faculty at this 2nd Annual GDBBS Awards banquet.


Keith D. Wilkinson, PhD
GDBBS Director