For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Preston
At UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Dr. Shatkin Receives AAMC Award for Contributions to Biomedical Sciences Recognized as a Pioneer for Research About Viral Replication in Cells
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recognized Dr. Aaron Shatkin, a scientific leader at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, as one of the nation's foremost biomedical sciences researchers at a November 8 ceremony held in conjunction with its 114th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Shatkin, director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM), received the Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences. This distinguished research award, established by the AAMC in 1981, is awarded to medical school faculty members who conduct outstanding clinical or laboratory research.
Dr. Shatkin said, "I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award, which also recognizes the many students and colleagues with whom I've enjoyed working over the course of my career. It continues to be an exciting time in the biomedical sciences, and we all look forward the challenges ahead."
In addition to serving as director of CABM, a post he has held since 1986, Dr. Shatkin is professor of molecular genetics, microbiology and immunology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and University Professor of molecular biology at Rutgers/The State University of New Jersey. CABM is a joint project of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers.
Dr. Shatkin, whose work demonstrates how viruses spread within cells, is considered one of the pioneers to bring molecular biology and biochemistry to the field of animal virology. While at the National Institutes of Health, he studied the genome of the reovirus and gained insight into fundamental life processes and diseases, such as AIDS and cancer.
Dr. Harold L. Paz, dean of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said of Dr. Shatkin, "I can think of no academic scientist whose work is more noteworthy than Dr. Shatkin's. Over the years, he has approached his research in a careful, critical and imaginative fashion, and produced seminal information about how viruses spread within cells.
"In addition to his enduring international reputation as a researcher, Dr. Shatkin is also recognized as a unique leader," Dr. Paz said. "It was under his leadership that the CABM, an entirely new research institution, was created and under his direction that the center has had a major impact on academic scientific research and higher education nationwide."
Dr. Shatkin received his Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in 1961 and later held positions at the National Institutes of Health, the Salk Institute and the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. He also has served as editor and advisory member to numerous committees and boards across the nation. In 1977 he received the distinguished National Academy of Sciences Molecular Biology Award.
The AAMC also awarded national honors to three other distinguished leaders in academic medicine including: Dr. Kenneth M. Ludmerer, a faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis, who received the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education; and Drs. Frank E. Speizer and Walter C. Williett, both faculty members at Harvard University, who received the David E. Rogers Award for major contributions to improving the health and health care of the American people.
The Association of American Medical Colleges represents the 126 accredited U.S. medical schools; the 16 accredited Canadian medical schools; some 400 major teaching hospitals, more than 105,000 faculty in 96 academic and scientific societies; and the nation's 66,000 medical students and 97,000 residents.