Biochemistry alum Kenneth Mann was awarded the Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award on Friday, June 8. Dr. Mann was a NASA and NIH-funded pre-doctoral student with Professor and Head of Biochemistry Carl Vestling, and earned his PhD in 1967. He trained as a postdoc with Dr. Charles Tanford (former UI faculty member) at Duke. Dr. Mann began his independent career as an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota in 1970, and from 1972-1984 held joint appointments at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic. In 1984 he was recruited to the University of Vermont as Chair of Biochemistry, a position he held for 21 years. Dr. Mann remains a professor at UVM, and has recently indexed his 418th paper on PubMed, been awarded an RC2 GO grant, and is principal investigator of a multiply-renewed Program Project Grand a a T32 Training Grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
With the advent of his independent career in 1970, Dr. Mann launched an entirely new line of research. with remarkable perspicacity, he decided to purify and characterize thrombin and dedicate his career to characterizing the biochemistry of blood coagulation. The results of Professor Mann’s decision and his creative career in blood research are nothing short of spectacular. His discoveries of factor V and his major contributions to the dissection of vitamin K-dependent coagulation enzymes have shed light on the normal, essential processes in clot formation as well as pathological states in acquired and congenital thrombotic and hemorrhagic diseases. His work has led to improved procedures for diagnosis and therapeutic interventions in bleeding and clotting disorders based on sound biochemical analysis. With 22 patents issued to Dr. Mann and his collaborators, his influence in medical approaches to promote and inhibit blood coagulation are striking.
Dr. Mann has also been instrumental in training the best and brightest young scientists in blood biochemistry. Throughout his career he has trained 52 postdoctoral fellows, 24 PhD students and countless undergraduates. The majority of his trainees now have well-established careers in industry and academia, with many of them making sustained independent contributions to the blood coagulation field.
CCOM is not the first to claim Dr. Mann as a distinguished alumnus – he was given the honor by the Mayo Clinic in 1994, and was named a Distinguished Scientist by the American Heart Association earlier this year. He has four named lectureships (Virginia, Wayne State, Columbia and the Mayo). In 1987 he was presented the State of Art Lecture at the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis in Brussels and a Distinguished Career Award for Contribution to Hemostasis. Dr. Mann was also given a University of Vermont Scholar award in 1988 and a MERIT grant from the NIH in 1989.
The CCOM announcement can be found here. Congratulations to Dr. Mann on this well-deserved honor.