Miller named distinguished professor; UVA appoints Garcia–Blanco

Miller named distinguished professor

The University of Kentucky has named Anne-Frances Miller as the 2022-23 College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor. Miller, professor of chemistry, was honored for her outstanding research, effective teaching and professional service. She will deliver the annual Distinguished Professor Lecture in the spring.

Anne-Frances Miller

The Miller laboratory studies enzymatic redox catalysis, working to understand energy efficiency in biological systems, as well as mechanisms for optimizing the storage of intermittent energy and its use with maximum versatility.

For her research, Miller received the Biophysical Society Young Investigator Award and the 2021 Herty Medal from the Georgia Section of the American Chemical Society. She has been invited to chair a Gordon Research Conference in her field, and recently completed a term as Chair of the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society.

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Miller’s academic leadership includes reinventing the molecular biophysics course to improve students’ quantitative thinking. She sought to make science more accessible to artists through the development of courses such as “Plant Pigments, Fragrances, and Fibers.”

Miller was recently elected to the Publications Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where she previously served from 2013 to 2016. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 2007 to 2012.

UVA appoints García-Blanco as president

Mariano A. Garcia-Blanco, an expert in virology and RNA biology, has been named chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He comes to UVA from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he served as chair of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology since 2014.

The Garcia-Blanco lab is known for its research on RNA-binding proteins in infections and immunity. His work has identified a number of RNA-binding proteins that affect the replication of flaviviruses such as dengue, yellow fever and Zika. They also studied the role of the RNA helicase DDX39B in alternative splicing of the interleukin 7 receptor, which affects autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

A member of the United Nations Council of Scientific Advisors for the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, García-Blanco previously served on the National Institutes of Health’s National Advisory Council for General Medical Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Medical Association and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and, most recently, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Garcia-Blanco has taught undergraduate, graduate, and medical students on topics such as gene regulation, nucleic acids, cancer biology, and autoimmunity. In addition to his research and teaching at the UT School of Medicine, he was an Associate Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke-NUS School of Medicine in Singapore. He was a faculty member at Duke University from 1990 to 2014.


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