University of Georgia

Gerald Hart elected 2022 ASBMB Fellow

Gerald Hart, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in drug discovery at the University of Georgia
Gerald Hart is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar with appointments in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker)

Gerald Hart, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in drug discovery at the University of Georgia, has been elected a 2022 fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The ASBMB Fellows program recognizes the organization’s most esteemed and established members, who have contributed to the field of molecular life sciences through outstanding research, education, mentorship, service and commitment to diversity.

“When I was the president of the ASBMB just a couple of years ago, I really learned all the things it does to advance science,” Hart said. “It is a wonderful organization, and that makes it such an honor to receive this award.”

Hart joined the faculty of UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences as a GRA Eminent Scholar in 2018 after serving as director of biological chemistry at Johns Hopkins Medical School for 21 years. In his lab at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Hart pursues further study on glycan O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), the molecule that earned him widespread recognition after he discovered it in the 1980s.

O-GlcNAc plays a key role in adding carbohydrates to molecules within the nuclei and cytoplasm of cells, giving it a widespread impact on a variety of biochemical processes. Today, Hart and his lab investigate the role the molecule plays in the transcription of DNA to RNA, the translation of RNA to polypeptides, and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Election to Fellow in the ASBMB emphasizes a commitment not only to outstanding research, but to exceptional teaching, mentorship and leadership,” said Karen Burg, vice president for research. “Dr. Hart has been at the forefront of glycobiological research since the beginning of his career, and his work has spurred countless advancements in molecular biology and drug development. I congratulate him on this great achievement.”

The ASBMB is a strong advocate for research, publishing three journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, for which Hart is an associate editor. Additionally, the ASBMB hosts conferences, webinars and other events, and supports programming on science education, career development and diversity in the field. With more than 11,000 members, it is one of the largest molecular life science societies in the world.