Mark Hochstrasser, MB&B Eugene Higgins Professor, and Enrique M. De La Cruz, MB&B Professor and Department Chair, were recently elected to The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE). Modeled after the National Academy of Sciences, CASE is a nonprofit institution that selects its members from Connecticut’s academic, industrial, and institutional communities. The goal of the organization is to offer expert and unbiased guidance on challenges related to science and technology to state government and institutions.
CASE cited Dr. De La Cruz as a leader in the fields of the actin cytoskeleton, molecular motor proteins, and nucleotide signaling enzymes. He elucidated the molecular mechanisms that guide the functions of actin and myosin in the cytoskeleton and determined how actin filament severing is regulated. In addition to his discoveries in the actomyosin field, Dr. De La Cruz also contributed to understanding RNA helicase function.
Dr. Hochstrasser was recognized for his seminal work in elucidating processes of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), including identifying the first known substrate of the UPS, Matα2. He continued to make formative progress in the field, characterizing key players and mechanisms of ubiquitylation and deubituiylation. The award notes that Dr. Hochstrasser defined features of proteasome assembly, linked ubiquitylation dynamics with endosomal protein sorting, indentified the first SUMO proteases, and discovered a Wolbachia bacteria deubiquitylase key to manipulating host reproduction.
Dr. De La Cruz and Dr. Hochstrasser are two of thirty-two members elected to CASE this year, eighteen of whom are affiliated with Yale University.
By Brigitte Naughton