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Paul Babitzke elected as Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

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31 March 2017

Paul BabitzkePaul Babitzke, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Election as a Fellow recognizes members of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) who display “excellence, originality, and leadership” and have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of microbiology.

Babitzke's research focuses on the regulation of gene expression -- where and when genes are used in a cell -- by RNA structure and RNA-binding proteins. He is interested in the fundamental mechanisms -- elongation and termination -- of how RNA molecules are transcribed from DNA, in addition to investigating a variety of genes in which RNA binding proteins control gene expression by transcription attenuation, repression of translation initiation, and/or mRNA stability.

Babitzke has been director of the Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at Penn State since 2013 and director of the Center for RNA Molecular Biology in the Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences since 2009. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2017 and is a member of the ASM, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the RNA society. He was the keynote speaker at the Federation of European Biochemical Societies - American Society for Microbiology Conference on the “Biology of RNA in host-pathogen interactions” in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain in 2014 and was honored with the Daniel R. Tershak Memorial Teaching Award in 2009.

Babitzke joined the faculty at Penn State as an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in 1994, became associate professor in 2000, and professor in 2006. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University from 1991 to 1994. Babitzke earned a doctoral degree in genetics at the University of Georgia in 1991 and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota in 1984.

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