We are delighted to announce the recruitment of 2 new faculty members who will be joining the Department on July 1, 2017. The search that identified these faculty members was a joint effort between the Biochemistry Department and the Genome Science Institute.
Nelson Lau, Ph.D., will be appointed as an Associate Professor. His laboratory will be located on the second floor of the K Bldg. Nelson has a long-standing involvement in the RNA field. He completed his Ph.D. at MIT in 2004 with Dr. David Bartel, a pioneer in the then nascent field of microRNAs. As part of his thesis work, he cloned the first large collection of microRNAs from C. elegans, work that was awarded the Newcomb Cleveland prize from the AAAS in 2002. From 2004-2009, Nelson was a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Kingston at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. During his fellowship, he was the first to describe the piRNA complex from rats and mice, a discovery that was a runner-up for Science magazine’s 2006 Breakthrough of the Year. In 2009, Nelson was recruited as an Assistant Professor to the Department of Biology at Brandeis University. There, he established a vibrant and productive research program focused on regulation of the genome by transposon landscapes and the Piwi/piRNA pathway. His laboratory produced a number of important advances, including: (1) Establishment of new links between the Piwi pathway, transposon landscapes, and long non-coding RNAs; (2) Discovery of eutherian-mammal conserved genic piRNA clusters; (3) Development of new technical methods to study the RNAi pathway. Nelson’s interests complement those of Alla Grishok and Daniel Cifuentes, further adding to our department’s strengths in RNA biology. Nelson also adds two new model organisms to our department: Drosophila and Xenopus tropicalis.
Andrew Emili, Ph.D., will be a Professor, with dual appointments in the Dept. of Biochemistry and in the Department of Biology on the Charles River Campus. He will establish a Center for Network Systems Biology, which will be located on the third floor of the K Bldg. in space that is currently being renovated for this purpose. Andrew was recruited through the Provost’s Senior Faculty Hiring Initiative, aimed at attracting world-class researchers to Boston University who will bridge the two campuses. He is currently a Professor in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, where he has been located since 2000. He received his Ph.D. (1997) in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto, and was a postdoctoral fellow (1997-2000) at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle working with John Yates. Andrew is an international leader in the analysis of protein interaction networks. He uses systems-level analysis, bioinformatics and especially proteomics to answer large-scale questions about protein-protein interaction networks in cells. Andrew’s publication list includes high profile, proteome-wide studies of protein complexes in yeast, E. coli, and human cells, and his group has documented hundreds of novel complexes linked to development and disease. Andrew’s center will synergize with the Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry, directed by Cathy Costello and Joe Zaia, further establishing our dept. as a leader in applications of mass spectrometry to biological problems.