About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 20, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 22
For the Record: Saul Roseman, KSAS Biological Chemist, Is Honored by Journal

By Lisa De Nike

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 chemistry."

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 Chemistry.


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |