Every year, ASCB presents the Merton Bernfield Memorial Award to an outstanding graduate student or postdoctoral member who has excelled at research. The 2017 winner is Lawrence Kazak, who is a
postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Bruce Spiegelman at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School.
Kazak’s current research focus integrates mitochondrial energetics with mammalian physiology to study the relationship between thermogenesis and obesity. He says that his immediate and long-term research goals are to “identify and therapeutically target metabolic pathways that regulate energy balance in the context of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and the chronic diseases of aging.”
Kazak received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2012. His graduate work focused on the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication and protein trafficking in mitochondria, and the translational control of novel mitochondrial protein isoforms.
At the 2017 ASCB|EMBO Meeting, Kazak will be presented with the Bernfield Memorial Award plaque and $1,000, and his travel expenses to the meeting will be paid. Kazak will present the talk “Mechanisms of Adipose Tissue Thermogenesis to Combat Obesity” at the Minisymposium on Cellular Metabolism at the meeting.