PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University molecular biosciences
professor Michael Smerdon will present the university’s 66th Distinguished
Faculty Address Thursday, Feb. 17. The 7:30 p.m. public talk, “DNA Repair:
Protecting Cells from Chaos and Cancer,” is set for Daggy Hall’s R.R. Jones
Smerdon is internationally known for his contributions to the understanding of
DNA damage and repair. One nominator said Smerdon is considered the
leading expert on how chromatin structure affects the introduction of DNA
damage and its repair in eukaryotes.
Early in his career, the National Institutes of Health honored Smerdon with a
Young Environmental Scientist Award (1978-81) and a Research Career
Development Award (1982-87). He is currently funded by two long-standing
NIH grants, one in year 20, the other in year 13, for nearly $500,000 in direct
Smerdon was recently appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of
Biological Chemistry, one of the most important biochemistry journals in the
world. He has published eight invited chapters in leading books in the field of
DNA repair and 60 papers in many of the finest peer-reviewer journals in the
The highly rated instructor and scientist has trained three master’s students,
nine doctoral students and 10 postdoctoral researchers in his 19 years at WSU.
Smerdon also received WSU’s Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research
in 1997 and the college of science’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1999.
WSU’s Distinguished Faculty Address series honors a faculty member by
inviting the individual to address the community on a topic related to his/her
academic work. Lecturers are selected based on national/international
distinction for original contributions to their discipline, receipt of extramural
support, national/international service and achievements in education. The
recognition also carries a $2,500 award.