Distinguished Research Professor 2018
Michael Tiemeyer, professor and associate director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, has catalyzed advancements in a broad range of areas including neural development, neural dysfunction, neurodegeneration, respiratory inflammatory diseases and analytic carbohydrate chemistry. His research addresses the biological function of cell surface carbohydrates (glycans) in mediating cellular interactions that underlie normal development and human disease progression. His laboratory builds on the understanding of biological function in model systems, especially the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, by creating novel tools to detect dynamic changes in glycan biosynthesis. His studies in Drosophila have made use of the powerful genetic approaches provided by this model system to make groundbreaking discoveries related to the roles of glycans in neural development. His contributions to glycan analysis and glycomic toolmaking have significantly enhanced the understanding of glycan functions in cellular differentiation, tissue development and inflammatory disease progression, while simultaneously expanding the appreciation of glycan structural diversity across animal species.