Link: University of Iowa

Madeline Shea joins Hopkins Society of Scholars

Congratulations to Madeline A. Shea, who was selected for induction into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in May, 2011. The Society of Scholars inducts former postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral degree recipients, house staff and junior or visiting faculty who have served at least a year at Johns Hopkins and thereafter gained marked distinction elsewhere in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social or engineering sciences or in the humanities.

Madeline’s award citation includes the following text:

“In addition to her outstanding contributions to scientific knowledge, many of us know Madeline through her support of the Gibbs Conference and her activities in the Biophysical Society. She earned her PhD in Biophysics in the Jenkins Department in 1984 and continued in the JHU Department of Biology until 1989 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Research Scientist.

Dr. Shea… is an internationally recognized pioneer in statistical thermodynamic models of complex biological systems. In stark departure from traditional descriptive approaches, her modeling of cellular life processes established an unrivaled paradigm for post-genomic biology in the 21st century. Shea’s early research – initiated at Hopkins – unveiled the workings of the classic genetic switch, bacteriophage lambda. Cited hundreds of times, this study stands as a landmark demonstration that essential aspects of a cell’s life cycle can be quantified from kinetic and statistical thermodynamic information of its constituent macromolecules. As an NSF Presidential Young Investigator she revolutionized biological understandings of calmodulin, an essential human protein critical in the nervous, heart and reproductive systems: her contributions rationalize the mechanisms by which the cooperative network of interactions enable calmodulin proteins to function as sensors, amplifiers and transducers in living cells. Dr. Shea is known for a consummate depth and quantitative clarity. Her investigations explore the very essence of living systems; and her outcomes continue to transform prevailing views of how networks of biological molecules maintain and regulate cellular life.”

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