The Society for Developmental Biology Board of Directors selected the following recipients for the 2014 SDB Awards.
Edwin G. Conklin Medal
Richard M. Harland, University of California, Berkeley
Harland is being recognized for his extraordinary and sustained research contributions to the field of developmental biology and mentoring of the next generation of scientists. His seminal work—the cloning and subsequent characterization of the BMP antagonist, noggin—revealed that “BMP antagonists are fundamental for the patterning of early germ layers” and provided the “long-sought molecular basis for the Spemann-Mangold Organizer effect.” In addition to the dozens of graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduates he mentored in his lab, Harland helped train the larger developmental biology community through his contributions at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Xenopus course, and more than 15 years of teaching at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Embryology Course (Co-director 2002-2007). Harland served as SDB President 2009-2010.
Developmental Biology-SDB Lifetime Achievement Award
Christopher Wylie and Janet Heasman, Cincinnati Children's Hospital (retired)
Wylie and Heasman are being honored for their outstanding and sustained research and mentoring contributions to the field of developmental biology. Typically, this award is given during the third trimester of the recipient's career. Their development of the oocyte transfer method in Xenopus made knocking down maternally provided gene products possible and with it they showed that “β-catenin/Wnt signaling controls the formation of the dorsal axis in vertebrate embryos.” Wylie and Heasman made seminal discoveries on germ cell formation and migration, axis specification, and even pioneered the use of morpholino oligonucleotides for studying zygotic genes. They mentored dozens of graduate students and postdocs throughout their career, taught at the MBL Embryology Course and co-directed the Cold Spring Harbor Xenopus course. Notably, Wylie transformed the Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology into Development serving as its Editor-in-chief for sixteen years. He also served as SDB President 1999-2000.
Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize
Larry Bock, Founder, USA Science & Engineering Festival
Bock is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to developmental biology education through his successful organization of the USA Science & Engineering Festival (USASEF). He has built a major enterprise for science education and outreach bringing together hundreds of educational institutions, scientific societies, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, engineering and medical industries, as well as science celebrities in an effort to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. SDB has been an active participant in the USASEF since its inception. Bock, an entrepreneur and start-up technology investor, has dedicated not only his money, but his time, energy, and creativity to science education. He earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry from Bowdoin College and an MBA from UCLA. The 2014 USASEF will be held in Washington, DC this April.
The SDB awards presentations will take place during the Awards Lectures session at the 73rd Annual SDB Meeting at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Sunday, July 20, 2014.