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Annual Showcase honors
Smerdon to receive Eminent Faculty Award
Monday, Feb. 27, 2012
By Donna Clark, Office of the Provost
PULLMAN, Wash. - Michael J. Smerdon, Regents Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, will receive the 2012 Eminent Faculty Award during the annual Showcase celebration of excellence on March 30.
Showcase reservations are being accepted at http://showcase.wsu.edu through March 16.
The prestigious award was created in 2000 to honor career-long excellence within WSU’s academic community. Smerdon is the 12th recipient of the highest honor the university bestows on a faculty member.
Cutting-edge work on DNA repair
Smerdon has conducted groundbreaking work on how the body repairs DNA damage caused by chemicals and UV light. He was one of the first scientists to analyze how repair is influenced by the way DNA is packaged in cells and to recognize that the repair response to genetic signals is turned on and off by environmental conditions.
In 2010, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for more than 30 years. Among his NIH grants are a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Young Environmental Scientist Grant Award (1978-81), a Research Career Development Award (1982-87) and a MERIT Award (2001-11).
In 2006, Smerdon was recognized as among the top 5 percent of extramural NIH grant awardees over the last 25 years.
Develops cancer research collaborations
Smerdon was elected to the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and chaired the 1995 Gordon Research Conference on DNA repair. He was a scientific advisor for Epoch Pharmaceuticals 1996-2001 and served on the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training review committee in 2000.
He was a consultant for Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) 1987-88 and Los Alamos National Laboratory Life Sciences Division 1995-98.
He has been active in developing collaborations between PNNL, WSU and the Spokane medical community to further common interests in cancer prevention and the problems of environmentally induced cancers.
Research excellence, leadership recognized
Smerdon received the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Arts from WSU in 1997 and the College of Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award in 1999. He delivered the 2000 Distinguished Faculty Address and was named the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the College of Sciences for 2001-2004.
He was promoted to WSU Regents professor in 2006 and received the Excellence in Research Award from the School of Molecular Biosciences in 2010.
He earned his B.A. in physics and mathematics from St. Cloud State University and his M.S. in physics and Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Oregon State University. He joined the WSU faculty in 1980.
He received the Science and Engineering Alumni Leadership Award from St. Cloud State University in 2003.