The University Record, October 9, 1995

FACULTY AWARDS: Christin Carter-Su, Faculty Recognition Award

Internationally recognized for her contributions to our understanding of how growth hormone regulates cell function, Christin Carter-Su’s recent studies focusing on the growth hormone signaling pathways in cells have led to a landmark discovery in endocrinology—the identification of the growth hormone stimulation of an enzyme called the JAK2 tyrosine kinase. The growth hormone activation of JAK2 is believed to be the initial biochemical change, which then activates a “downstream” signaling cascade, causing the biological changes attributed to growth hormone. JAK kinases are now known to be activated by many other hormones and cytokines important in regulating the body’s immune system.

Professor Carter-Su’s work, published in Cell, has transformed the field of hormone and cytokine research from many separate stories to an integrated area of signal transduction involving families of JAK kinases and subsequent signaling proteins. Her discoveries have opened up a completely new area for experimental research in endocrinology and her achievements have inspired a great number of endocrinologists and biochemists in different laboratories all over the world.

Professor Carter-Su is also a successful and well liked teacher who has taught cell physiology and endocrinology in various contexts throughout the University. As director of the physiology course taught at the School of Dentistry, she introduced innovations that have improved both faculty and student performance.

Since joining the Medical School faculty in 1981, Professor Carter-Su has served on a large number of dissertation committees and has been a research mentor to many undergraduates, graduate students, and fellows. She takes the time to work with people, to instruct, and to seek out what is in the student’s best interest. Professor Carter-Su has served on the Program Committee of the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology and as head of its academic advisory committee. She also has served on numerous committees in the Medical School and the University.

Her success is manifest by her publications in major journals and the many invitations she receives to speak in symposia and at national and international meetings, by her service on editorial boards and study sections, and by her awards and grants, including a Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Career Development Award. She recently was selected as the Eli Lilly Lecturer for the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society.

Professor Carter-Su’s adept balancing of scholarly activities, teaching, and service obligations provides a model for younger colleagues. For her great integrity, her professionalism, and her dedication to scholarship and intellectual excellence, the University is pleased to present to Christin Carter-Su its Faculty Recognition Award.