MSU faculty member, student receive American Society for Microbiology awards

Posted at 11:37 AM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 11:37:55-04

A Michigan State University molecular biologist and a doctoral student in her lab have received awards from the American Society for Microbiology.

Kristin Parent, assistant professor in MSU's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Natural Science, is a recipient of the 2017 ASM Young Investigator Award, which recognizes early career scientists for research excellence and potential in microbiology and infectious diseases.

Natalia Porcek-Hubbs, a Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics doctoral student assisting Parent, is a recipient of the 2017 ASM Raymond W. Sarber Award. This award recognizes undergraduate and predoctoral students for research excellence and potential.

“I feel extremely honored to have received this award from ASM, and even more proud that my student, Natalia, is being recognized for her efforts,” Parent said. “MSU is a great place to be and I feel very lucky to have the mentoring from the BMB department—by the chair, Tom Sharkey; Lee Kroos, my faculty mentor; and many other faculty members and friends.”

Parent’s research at MSU focuses on a correlated approach to deciphering the processes of virus assembly and infection via a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics and structural biology. The main project in her laboratory focuses on understanding assembly and host-recognition mechanisms in dsDNA-containing bacteriophage.

“Receiving the Raymond Sarber award paves the way for my continued scientific endeavors,” Porcek-Hubbs said. “I feel honored to have the merit of my scientific achievements recognized at the national level. I am grateful and appreciative to have such a profound network of support from mentors across the country.”

Parent and Porcek-Hubbs will receive the awards in June at the ASM Microbe 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.