Dennis Dean

Dennis Dean ’73 was recently honored as a fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for his efforts to advance the molecular life sciences through sustained outstanding accomplishments in areas such as scientific research, diversity, education, mentorship, and service to the scientific community.

“Dennis has made paradigm-shifting discoveries that define the biological basis for iron-sulfur cluster formation. He discovered that both simple and complex iron-sulfur clusters, necessary to sustain life on earth, are pre-assembled on protein scaffolds, and also discovered the mechanism for sulfur trafficking in cells,” said X.J. Meng, interim executive director of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute.

“These discoveries have had profound impact on the fields of microbial biology and biological sciences in general. Dennis’ work has been highly cited by his peers with more than 23,390 citations and an h-index of 88.”

Dean, who serves as a University Distinguished Professor of biochemistry and founding director of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech, has made outstanding contributions to microbiology and biochemistry, using genetic and biochemical approaches to understand fundamental microbial processes, according to a news release.

Selection as a fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is an honor bestowed on ASBMB’s most distinguished members. Fellows are recognized for their contributions to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as meritorious work to advance the molecular life sciences.

“When I was a graduate student, we all aspired to get our work published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Since then, our group has published our best and most highly-cited work in that ASBMB journal, so this recognition is indeed a cherished honor for me,” Dean said.

Dean received a bachelor of arts from Wabash College in 1973 and is a Purdue University College of Science Distinguished alumnus, receiving his Ph.D. in 1979. While at Wabash, he majored in biology, and was a member of Kappa Sigma and the cross country and track teams.