Emr receives lifetime achievement award

Scott Emr, the Nancy M. and Samuel C. Fleming Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics in the College of Arts and Sciences and former director of the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, recently received a lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

Emr was honored for his discovery and characterization of the Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport (ESCRT) complexes — which function in diverse processes that are central to life, health and disease.

The ESCRT Pathway is a key aspect of membrane biology, including cell division, cell-surface receptor regulation, viral dissemination and nerve axon pruning. ESCRT complexes have implications in many diseases, including cancer, Parkinson’s and viral infections.

Defects in ESCRT’s  have been implicated in many diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative disease and viral infections. Inhibitors of one of the ESCRT complexes are being tested in treatment of certain cancers.

“I am very grateful to the exceptionally talented students and postdocs who have worked with me over the past 40 years," Emr said. "Their contributions led to the discovery of the ESCRTs and their essential functions in cell biology. The support of Cornell University and my colleagues has provided a wonderful environment for developing and carrying out our science.”

Emr’s past honors include the $1.2 million Shaw Prize in Life Sciences and Medicine (2021); election to membership in the National Academy of Science (2007) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004); the Keith R. Porter Award “in recognition of outstanding contributions to cell biology” (2017); the van Deenan Medal by the University of Utrecht (2014) and the Avanti Award in Lipids (2007).

Jonathan Mong '25 is a communications assistant in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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