The University Record, October 1, 2001

Ben Margolis—Faculty Recognition Award

Margolis (Photo by Marcia Ledford, U-M Photo Services)
Ben Margolis, an outstanding biological chemist and clinical investigator, is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in the field of cell signal transduction. As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Margolis developed a technique for Cloning of Receptor Targets (CORT), which allowed him to identify and isolate novel proteins and receptors critical in cell signaling pathways. In a series of studies, his laboratory identified a group of proteins considered a “missing link” in the signal transduction field. These SH2 “adapter” proteins connect receptors on the cell surface to enzymes that catalyze reactions within the cell.

Dr. Margolis also has identified several new protein-protein interaction domains, and characterized their unique binding properties, continuing his contribution to the understanding of mechanisms of signal transduction. More recently, his laboratory has been focusing on the role of protein-protein interaction domains in protein trafficking. His discoveries are expected to lead to more specific and effective treatments for cancer and kidney diseases.

In addition to his significant contributions to the field of cell biology, Dr. Margolis is a gifted and accomplished teacher, admired by undergraduate and Medical School students. He directs the Molecular Core at the George O’Brien Renal Center and co-directs the Cancer Cell Biology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and associate investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In addition to leading a busy research laboratory, Dr. Margolis performs significant professional service. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and is an associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

In recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements, Dr. Margolis was named a Lucille P. Markey Scholar. He also received the Kaplan Scholar Award and the American Society of Nephrology/American Heart Association Young Investigator Award and is an American College of Physicians Diplomat in internal medicine and in nephrology. An engaging speaker, he is frequently invited to lecture at national and international conferences.

For his path-breaking research in the science of signal transduction, his contributions and commitment to the field of cell biology, and his generosity as a colleague, teacher and mentor, the University of Michigan proudly confers on Ben Margolis its Faculty Recognition Award.