Saul Roseman, the Ralph S. O'Connor Professor of
Biology in the
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, was honored in a
recent issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry
for a lifetime of contributions to the field.
In an article headlined "Hexosamine Metabolism, Sialic
Acids and the Phosphotransferase System: Saul Roseman's
Contributions to Glycobiology," three colleagues from
across the country credited Roseman with the discovery of
how cells make glucosamine and sialic acid (two key
building blocks of complex carbohydrates). They also
recognized him for the identification of the
phosphotransferase system, a process by which bacteria
takes up sugar from the environment and/or from the blood
of infected animals.
The article was part of the journal's "Classics"
series, which features seminal papers published by The
Journal of Biological Chemistry since its founding more
than a century ago. When complete, the series will contain
more than 300 original papers by what the publication's Web
site calls "many of the legends in biological
Stanford University's Robert D. Simoni, the article's
co-author and a former Roseman student, said that the Johns
Hopkins researcher is the only scientist ever to have three
of his papers selected as Classics, a situation Simoni
calls "quite remarkable." Even more remarkable, according
to Simoni, is the fact that each of Roseman's selected
papers was on a different topic, and from a different stage
of his career.
"Saul Roseman is one of the most important founders of
the field of biochemistry called glycobiology that began to
be recognized about 15 to 20 years ago," said Robert L.
Hill, professor of biochemistry at Duke and a co-author of
the article with Simoni and Nicole Kresge of the American
Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "His early
research of the biosynthesis of complex carbohydrates was
pioneering and led the way for the rest of us who
subsequently also contributed to glycobiology."
Roseman was grateful for the tribute.
"I am very honored and pleased about the article,
more, in fact, than any of the other honors that I have
received," he said. "That's because the work that my
colleagues and I have done — and continue to do — is being
recognized by experts in the field as something special.
This is really something unique."
Roseman has been honored frequently for his
accomplishments in biochemistry, including his election to
the National Academy of Sciences. He has received the
Gairdner Foundation Award, Brandeis University's
Rosenstiehl Award and an honorary degree from Sweden's
University of Lund.
The article outlining Roseman's contributions appeared
in the Jan. 6 issue of The Journal of Biological