Last year, ISAR created the Diversity Speaker Award, to recognize an outstanding scientist of any group historically underrepresented in the Society. Through this award ISAR seeks to honor an accomplished scientist and increase the Society’s diversity for the benefit of all its members and the entire field of antiviral research. It is with great pride and honor that we now introduce ISAR’s 2021 Diversity Speaker Awardee, Dr. Craig E. Cameron.
Craig E. Cameron is the Jeffery Houpt Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Howard University in 1987. Following doctoral studies in biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and post-doctoral studies in the chemistry department at Penn State, Dr. Cameron joined the faculty of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State in 1997. He was tenured, promoted to the rank of associate professor and appointed Louis Martarano Associate Professor in 2002. In 2005, he was promoted to the rank of professor and named the Paul Berg Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. From 2011-2012, Dr. Cameron served a two-year term as Associate Head for Research and Graduate Education. In 2013, he was named holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Cameron moved to his current position in Chapel Hill in the fall of 2019. Dr. Cameron’s research focuses on RNA polymerases and RNA-binding proteins required for viral replication or mitochondrial function. The goal of this work is development of novel strategies to treat and/or prevent viral infections and mitochondrial dysfunction. During his career, Dr. Cameron has received a number of distinguished honors, including the Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute, an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, a Distinguished Service Award from the Eberly College of Science Alumni Association, the Genesis Scholar Award from HBCU Digest, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Cameron currently serves as an associate editor for Journal of Biological Chemistry and Science Advances, and in July 2020, he became President of the American Society for Virology.
Ann Kwong, Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Society, had the priveledge of notifying Dr. Cameron of the award in October. Learning of his selection, Dr. Cameron commented “This is a big deal for me. I look forward to attending the meeting both virtually and in-person in coming years”.
Dr. Cameron is an exemplar first Diversity Speaker Awardee, raising the profile of the award by accepting it. Besides his many outstanding scientific contributions in the field of antiviral research, and virology in general, he has also been very generous sharing his time and efforts for the benefit of others. Dr. Cameron is, without a doubt, an outstanding role model for all of us, enriching our Society and the field of antiviral research. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Cameron on his Award.
January 13, 2021
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