MCP/ASBMB Lectureship Award

The Molecular and Cellular Proteomics (MCP) / American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Lectureship Award was established in 2013 to honor scientists that have been at the forefront of the fields of glycomics and glycoproteomics. The Society for Glycobiology Awards Committee identify and present nominees to the MCP senior editorial team who makes the final selection.

2021 Awardee - Dr. Joseph Zaia

Dr. Joseph Zaia is a Professor of Biochemistry and the Associate Director of the Center for Biomedical Mass Spectromety at Boston University. Dr. Zaia earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry in Klaus Biemann’s laboratory at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his thesis focused on the then rapidly evolving field of peptide sequencing by tandem mass spectrometry. After completing his thesis work, Dr. Zaia undertook post-doctoral studies with Catherine Fenselau at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Here, he continued to expand his expertise in structural and functional analysis of proteins and glycoproteins using electrospray and MALDI-TOF/MS interfaces. After three years as a Senior Research Scientist in Analytical Chemistry at Osiris Therapeutics, Dr. Zaia assumed an Assistant Professorship at Boston University School of Medicine and steadily rose through the ranks to become a full Professor in 2011.

Across his entire independent career, Dr. Zaia has tackled difficult, technically challenging but biologically impactful questions related to the structure, analysis, and function of glycoconjugates. He has developed and implemented transformative approaches to decipher the complex heterogeneity of glycosaminoglycan diversity, both through analytic advances, and by developing useful bioinformatic tools for mining complex datasets generated by LC-MS/MS. Recently, his laboratory has begun to investigate spatial distribution of specific glycan modifications and proteomic markers across tissues by MS-based proofing. His work has led to the characterization of the matrisome of brain tissue, an essential component of the brain parenchyma. Dr. Zaia is characterizing the compositional characteristics and structural dynamics of the brain matrisome in various diseases of neural dysfunction or degeneration. His laboratory has also contributed important advances to understanding the relevance of site-specific glycosylation of influenza virus hemagglutinin, the complexity of the biosynthetic modifications of glycosaminoglycans, and the need for robust tools that facilitate high-confidence extraction of structural features from complex mass spectral datasets. For his long-term commitment to studying glycoprotein glycoconjugates by cutting-edge mass spectrometry, Dr. Joseph Zaia was chosen by the editorial leadership of the MCP to receive the 2021 Lectureship Award.