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August 27, 2009

Biochemist Named 2009 Sigma Xi Young Investigator

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Biochemist Brandt F. Eichman at Vanderbilt University is recognized as a leader in research into the structural biology of cellular mechanisms that maintain DNA fidelity. He has been selected to receive Sigma Xi's 2009 Young Investigator Award.

The award includes $5,000 and a certificate of recognition. Sigma Xi members within 10 years of their highest earned degree are eligible. The Young Investigator Award alternates between the physical sciences and engineering, including mathematics, and the life and social sciences.

Erichman will present a lecture about his work at the Society's Annual Meeting and International Research Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, (near Houston) November 12-15. He is an assistant professor of biological sciences and biochemistry at Vanderbilt.

He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Oregon State University in 2000 and was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.

His research interests include structural biology, biophysics and biochemistry of proteins and protein-nucleic acid complexes.

Erichman was a postdoctoral fellow from 2000-2004 in the laboratory of Tom Ellenberger at Harvard. There, he studied crystal structures and biochemical properties of DNA repair and replication enzymes.

Research in his laboratory is focused on understanding how proteins recognize and manipulate DNA structure during replication and repair processes, which are critical for the prevention of genetic disease and cancer.

Eichman and colleagues use X-ray crystallography and biochemistry to investigate the physical and mechanistic basis for the biological functions of several DNA processing enzymes.

He belongs to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Crystallographic Association and the American Chemical Society.

Eichman is an ad hoc reviewer for Nature, Molecular Cell, PNAS, EMBO Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Structure, Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Journal of Molecular Biology and DNA Repair.

At Vanderbilt, he is an active member in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Institute of Chemical Biology, Center for Structural Biology and Center in Molecular Toxicology.

About Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist magazine, the non-profit Society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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