Gregorio Weber Award
Honoring Excellence in Fluorescence
The Gregorio Weber Award for Excellence in Fluorescence Theory and Applications is an annual award which honors and recognizes distinguished individuals who have made original and significant contributions to the field of fluorescence. The award is named after Professor Gregorio Weber, who pioneered developments in the theory and the application of fluorescence techniques in biology and biochemistry. Award recipients are selected from a group nominated by their peers, and all nominees must be senior level researchers with a rank of full professor, lab director or equivalent.
The honoree is selected by a committee of three scientists, nominated by ISS, and invited to serve for a three-year period. The committee alone makes the final selection of each year's award recipient.
Nominations are sent to the President of ISS, who will transmit the information to the members of the committee (unless one of the members is nominated, in which case he/she will not receive the communication). Nominations for any given year must be received by December 31 of that year. Alternatively, nominations can be sent to the Chair of the Biological Fluorescence subgroup of the Biophysical Society. Any nomination received after the December 31 deadline will be considered for the following year. To nominate an individual for the next award, please send a 1-2 page letter (sent via postal mail or email) describing his/her academic professional background, accomplishments and contributions to the field of fluorescence.
An Annual Award
The Gregorio Weber award is assigned yearly and consists of a plaque and a nominal check in the amount of $2,000 which will be consigned to the honoree at the Fluorescence Biological Subgroup meeting during the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society.
Prof. Ludwig Brand is the winner of the 2015 Weber Award; the award was announced during the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ludwig Brand is professor at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where he worked at the Department of Biology for more than thirty years. After his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, he received his doctoral degree from Indiana University. He joined the Johns Hopkins University faculty after post-doctoral studies at Brandeis University and the Weizman Institute.
The main interests in Prof. Brand's research encompass the study of conformational dynamics of biological macromolecules, especially the dynamics structure of proteins, biological membranes and nucleic acids. He used fluorescence spectroscopy to uncover the dynamics of proteins in time scales from pico- to millisecond thus helping in uncovering the notion of a protein as a static structure but a rather dynamical assembly interacting with the surrounding water matrix.
ISS is honored to recognize Dr. Jovin as this year's recipient of the Gregorio Weber Award for Excellence in Fluorescence Theory and Applications for his continued contributions to the evolution of the field.
The winner of the 2014 Weber Award was announced today during the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in San Francisco, California. The award was consigned to Prof. Thomas Jovin.
Thomas Jovin is the Director of the Laboratory of Cellular Dynamics at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany). Born in Argentina in 1939, he studied biology at The California Institute of Technology and obtained a MD degree from Johns Hopkins in 1964. He joined the Max Planck Institute in 1969 and has acted as a Director since 1971.
Prof. Jovin's research deals with the study of biological processes using physical-chemical methods. Some of his main research topics include the mechanisms of growth-factor mediated signaling in eukaryotic cells; the molecular mechanisms of amyloid protein association and aggregation; and the molecular mechanisms underlying cytopathology in Parkinson's disease. He has introduced the development and use of advanced organic and nanoparticle biosensors and optical sectioning fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells. His research activity is detailed in the publication of almost 500 articles.
ISS is honored to recognize Dr. Jovin as this year's recipient of the Gregorio Weber Award for Excellence in Fluorescence Theory and Applications for his continued contributions to the evolution of the field.
The winner of the Weber Award was announced during the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prof. Maïté Coppey-Moisan has been chosen for the award.
Prof. Maïté Coppey-Moisan is Director of Research at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique et Médicale (INSERM) in Paris where she head a team and a cell imaging facility at Institut Jacques Monod. She coordinates a national distributed infrastructure, France-BioImaging, recently financed by the French government. Prof. Maïté Coppey- Moisan is also Associate Professor at University Paris-Diderot.
Prof. Coppey-Moisan was educated in physico-chemistry at University Paris 7 and obtained a PhD ("thèse 3ième cycle") in 1976 in biochemistry and a "Thèse Etat" in 1981 in Biophysics working with Dave Jameson in Gregorio Weber's Laboratory at Urbana Champaign. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University in the Tom Spiro's Laboratory.
After 14 years spend on the functional properties of heamoproteins studied by steady state and time resolved spectroscopy (fluorescence and Raman), Prof. Coppey-Moisan's research interest are in the field of macromolecular interactions and dynamics in living cells. She is one of the pioneers in the application of fluorescence spectroscopy for the analysis of DNA and chromatin dynamics in living cells. Her present research is focused on the mechanical tensions and the dynamics of cell shape regulation. Prof. Coppey- Moisan is also strongly involved in the dissemination of advanced light microscopy, super resolution and fluorescence fluctuations based spectroscopy to a wide scientific community in the frame of France-BioImaging.
Prof. Maïté Coppey-Moisan is the coauthor of over 50 articles or book chapters. She served French National Committees at INSERM, Agence National de la Recherche and University Paris-Diderot for several years. She is member of the National Scientific Committee of INSERM workshops.
The winner of the Weber Award was announced during the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in San Diego, California. The award has been consigned to Prof. Bernard Valeur.
Bernard Valeur is emeritus professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris where he taught physical chemistry for almost thirty years. He is a member of the laboratory of Photophysique et Photochimie Supramoléculaires et Macromoléculaires at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan.
Prof. Valeur received his engineering diploma from the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de Paris (ESPCI) and his PhD degree from the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie (Paris). He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Gregorio Weber's laboratory. After being an associate professor at ESPCI, he became full professor of physical chemistry at CNAM in 1979.
Prof. Valeur served as an elected member of the french Comité National de la Recherche Scientifique from 1995 to 2000. He was a member of the permanent steering committee of the International Conference on Methods and Applications of Fluorescence Spectroscopy from 1995 to 2008, and he was the chairman and organizer of the 6th conference of this series in Paris. He is an IUPAC fellow (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry). He serves at the editorial boards of the Journal of Fluorescence, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A, ChemPhysChem.
Prof. Valeur's research interests are in the fields of photophysics and photochemistry. He has been currently using steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence techniques for investigating polymers, microemulsions, supramolecular systems including multichromophoric cyclodextrins and calixarenes. He is one of the pioneers in the development of fluoroionophores consisting of fluorophores linked to ionophores for highly selective sensing of metal ions, especially toxic heavy metal ions in environment. His present research includes reversible photoswitchable molecular tweezers for release and capture of calcium ions in order to study calcium-dependent biological processes, and light-driven molecular shuttles of ions for information storage at a nanometric scale (with read-out by fluorescence).
Prof. Valeur enjoyed numerous collaborations with biologists and biophysicists: Jean-Pierre Changeux, Gregorio Weber, Enrico Gratton, Claude Hélène, Michel Monsigny, Jean-Claude Brochon and others.
Prof. Valeur is the author or coauthor of over 170 articles or book chapters, co-editor of one book, and single author of 5 books including Molecular Fluorescence. Principles and Applications, and Invitation à la Fluorescence Moléculaire which are well-established bestsellers.
The winner of the Weber Award was announced during the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore, Maryland. The award has been consigned to Prof. Ken Jacobson.
Ken Jacobson is a Kenan Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He has done research in cell membrane biophysics and in cell migration for over 35 years resulting in over 170 publications in leading journals. Ken was educated at the University of Wisconsin in Physics (BS & MS) and obtained a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Biophysical Sciences in 1972. He has worked for Dow Corning Corporation, Roswell Park Memorial Institute and, since 1980, for the UNC School of Medicine.
Beginning in the early 1970s, Ken has contributed to our thinking on how the cell membrane is organized by developing methods to measure lateral mobility in the plasma membrane, primarily using technologies based on the fluorescence microscope. Such measurements tell us that the membrane is certainly not homogeneous, and they begin to tell us about the domains that exist in the membrane and their function.
Shortly after joining the UNC faculty in 1980, Ken was one of the earliest developers of digitized fluorescence microscopy and its applications to cell biology. Shortly thereafter, he and his laboratory began their study of the physical principles of how cells migrate using simple-shaped cells as a model. This work has involved developing tools to measure the traction forces the cell must apply to the surface on which it crawls. In addition, methods have been developed to perturb the molecular machinery of cell migration using laser beams to illuminate small regions of single, moving cells. Working with theoreticians, the goal is to approach a major challenge for cell biology: how to integrate myriad molecular pieces into a global understanding of motile phenomena.
For the past 20 years, Ken has also been interested in renewable energy and has been involved in a joint effort with the Research Triangle Institute, the UNC Center for Global Health and North Carolina State University to develop a small solar-powered vaccine cooler based on semiconductor thermoelectric principles to significantly reduce vaccine wastage at the end stage of the "cold chain" in the developing world.
The winner of the Weber Award was announced during the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Long Beach, California. The award has been consigned to Prof. Daniel Axelrod.
Professor Daniel Axelrod specializes in the development and application of novel fluorescence microscopy techniques useful to cell biologists and biochemists. He is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of Physics and Biophysics at the University of Michigan (UM Ann Arbor).
While at Michigan in 1981, he introduced total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, now a popular method to view cell dynamics and single molecules at surfaces, because of its greatly reduced out-of-focus background. Subsequently, in collaboration with many excellent graduate students and other researchers, he combined TIRF with a variety of other techniques including fluorescence polarization, energy transfer, spatial and temporal correlation, and photobleaching recovery to explore a variety of problems in surface biochemical kinetics and membrane and receptor dynamics. He currently collaborates with Prof. Ron Holz in the UM Pharmacology Dept. using these combinations to help understand the dynamics of cellular secretion. Before coming to Michigan, he was a postdoc in the lab of Prof. Watt Webb at Cornell, where, in collaboration with Prof. Eliot Elson and with other researchers, he helped put fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) on a mathematically quantitative basis and apply it to studies of cell surface receptor mobility.
Prof. Axelrod received a B.S. in Physics and in Mathematics from Brooklyn College, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author or coauthor of more than 100 publications, and has taught a diverse range of college courses ranging from standard physics and biophysics to graduate-level optical microscopy, the history and science of nuclear strategy, and the physics of music.
Prof. Clegg graduated from Kansas State University in 1968 and conducted his doctorial studies at Cornell University where he was awarded the Ph.D. in 1974, under the supervision of Prof. Elson; his dissertation was titled Relaxation Kinetics Applying Repetitive Pressure Perturbations. Following graduation, Professor Clegg moved to Göttingen, Germany, where he started work as a postdoctoral research associate in the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. In 1976, he was promoted to Senior Staff Research Associate in the Department of Molecular Biology. Dr. Clegg remained at the Max Planck Institute until he accepted a position as Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998. Presently, Dr. Clegg is a Professor in the Departments of Physics and Bioengineering and is on the faculty of the Biophysics Program at the University of Illinois.
Prof. Clegg research is multifaceted, though it is centered on the elucidation of multifarious molecular structures, conformational changes, thermodynamic stabilities and functions of nucleic acids and protein/nucleic acid complexes. He employs a variety of techniques, such as fluorescence spectroscopy, rapid kinetic methods and physical perturbations in order to probe the intra- and intermolecular interactions of these macromolecular structures and to understand the physical basis of their biological functions. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is used for mapping the three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules. Conformational changes are followed by employing steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. Thermodynamic conditions and molecular-context features influence which structures are preferred by macromolecules.
Prof. Clegg is a pioneer in the development of full-field fluorescence lifetime-resolved microscopy (FLIM) and its applications to endoscopy for medical applications (e.g. in tumor diagnosis). These new imaging methods are applied to a variety of biological problems, such as the detection of tumor cells and their discrimination from healthy cells by identifying specific fluorescence lifetimes. These techniques introduce new opportunities for quantifying and improving the discrimination of images of fluorescence molecules in biological systems. The technology has been applied to fast kinetics studies (microsecond mixing of two fluids) and the study of photosynthesis.
Professor Visser is an international expert in the development of fluorescence methods and their applications to the investigation of proteins and membranes both in vitro and in vivo. He is (part-time) professor at the Department of Structural Biology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and professor at the Department of Biochemistry of Wageningen University. He is the founder of the MicroSpectroscopy Centre (MSC) at Wageningen University (1996) and was the director of the MSC until 2007. The MSC is an established expertise centre in which advanced optical imaging methods have been developed as a tool to answer research questions in cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics. The MSC facilities are also used in (inter)national post-graduate courses in advanced imaging technology in cell biology. His current research interests encompassed the use of advanced fluorescence methods for the investigation of flavoproteins, of FRET-sensors based on visible fluorescent proteins and of protein (un)folding. He also contributed in cell biophysical research related to chemotaxis and plant cell signalling. The methods he has established in his laboratory have attracted collaborations and joint publications with 29 different international researchers (e.g. in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Russia) and with 16 Dutch national scientists. He is the author or co-author of over 220 publications in scientific journals with a peer review system. He has served at the Advisory Editorial Boards of the Journal of Fluorescence, European Biophysics Journal and Biophysical Chemistry. Since 2006 he has coordinated a European Union Marie Curie Research Training Network (acronym: from FLIM to FLIN) focusing on development and exchange of expertise in advanced fluorescence imaging technology.
Professor Elson graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with an A.B. in Biochemical Science. His graduate work at Stanford University (Ph.D., 1966) was with Robert Baldwin in the Department of Biochemistry. After a post-doc with Bruno Zimm at the University of California San Diego, he joined the chemistry faculty of Cornell University in 1968 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor in 1978.
At Cornell he pioneered the development of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence photobleaching recovery in collaboration with Watt Webb of the Cornell Physics Department, and also developed the repetitive pressure perturbation kinetics method. In 1979 he moved to the Department of Biological Chemistry (now the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics) at Washington University School of Medicine, where he has studied the movement and distribution of cell surface proteins, cell motility, and the forces which determine the shapes of cells.
Dr. Lakowicz is a professor at the University of Maryland College of Medicine in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He also is the Director of the Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy (CFS) in Baltimore.
Dr. Lakowicz attended LaSalle College in Pennsylvania where he earned a B.A. in Chemistry and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He then pursued his M.S. and subsequently a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
After he received his Ph.D., Dr. Lakowicz worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota for six years and moved in 1980 to the University of Maryland at Baltimore, School of Medicine, where he advanced to full professor in 1984.
Since 1988 Dr. Lakowicz has been the Director of the Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy (CFS), which is a national resource of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the development of fluorescence technologies. The research emphasis of the CFS is on probe chemistry, light quenching, multi-phonon excitation, fluorescence sensing, lifetime imaging and microscopy. In the last few years Prof. Lakowicz began working on a very exciting, new topic Radiative Decay Engineering, which promises revolutionary ways for using fluorescence in the biomedical fields.
In addition to his present research, Dr. Lakowicz has made many significant contributions to the chemical synthesis of new fluorophores, development of time-resolved instrumentation, pioneering studies of photon migration imaging, multi-photon excitation, and in fluorescence sensing.
Along with his extensive academic accomplishments, Dr. Lakowicz has published over 400 scientific articles and has edited several books on Topics in Fluorescence Spectroscopy. His single-author books Principles of Fluorescence Spectroscopy are widely used and conventionally considered to be the central reference in the field of fluorescence research. Dr. Lakowicz was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Fluorescence and the founder of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.
Enrico Gratton was born in Merate (Como) Italy in 1946. He received his doctorate degree in physics from the University of Rome in 1969. From 1969 to 1971 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Italy. He came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1976 and began his work as a research associate in the Department of Biochemistry. In 1978, he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Physics of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). In 1989, he was promoted to professor. Dr. Gratton's laboratory has reached international recognition for the development of instrumentation for time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy using frequency domain methods.
In 1986, Dr. Gratton was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources, to establish the first national facility dedicated to fluorescence spectroscopy: the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (LFD). The LFD, housed in Loomis Laboratory of Physics at UIUC, is a state-of-the-art fluorescence laboratory for use by local, national, and international scientists. It has a dual and equal commitment to research and development of fluorescence instrumentation and theory and to service in a user-oriented facility. Dr. Gratton's research interests are varied and many; they include design of new fluorescence instruments, protein dynamics, hydration of proteins, and I.R. spectroscopy of biological substances. Dr. Gratton has authored or co-authored over 250 publications in refereed scientific journals.
A student of the late Prof. Gregorio Weber, David Jameson is Full Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Hawaii. Prof. Jameson's research interests are focused on the development and application of time-resolved and steady-state fluorescence methodologies to elucidate dynamic aspects of biomolecules, including proteins, nucleic acids and membrane systems.
Currently, his laboratory is investigating several protein systems, including both prokaryotic and eukaryotic ribosomal proteins, the GTP binding protein dynamin, the motor protein kinesin and Electron Transfer Flavoprotein (ETF). One of his laboratory's principle approaches is to use site-directed mutagenesis techniques to incorporate cysteine residues into target proteins, which can then be linked to sulfhydryl reactive fluorescence probes. Fluorescence measurements can then be used to quantify dynamic aspects of these proteins during their interactions with physiologically significant ligands.
Author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, Prof. Jameson regularly reviews grants for the American Heart Association, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Science Foundation. His research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association.
Award Selection Committee
Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers
292 rue Saint-Martin
75141 Paris cedex 03, France
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-2715
David M. Jameson
University of Hawaii
Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology
1960 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Gregorio Weber Award Committee
1602 Newton Dr
Champaign, IL 61822