TU selects Matthew Hemm as fifth Fisher endowed professor

Biology professor’s research focuses on abundance and function of small proteins

Matthew Hemm

TOWSON, Md. (Nov. 22, 2011)—Matthew Hemm , assistant professor of biology, has been selected as the fifth recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.

As a Jess and Mildred Fisher endowed professor, Hemm will receive a monetary award of $15,000 for each of three years that may be used for a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

Hemm teaches courses in molecular biology. His research focus is the abundance and function of small proteins containing up to 50 amino acids, and his studies show that small proteins and the short genes that encode them have specific functions and are more prevalent than previously thought.

His current research seeks to characterize the role of small transmembrane proteins in cytochrome bd oxidase activity in E. coli, and to discover new short genes encoded in the E. coli genome. He recently was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is publishing a paper with four undergraduate co-authors.

Hemm joined the faculty of Towson University's Department of Biological Sciences in August 2009. He previously served as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Research Fellow at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a unit of NIH. He earned his B.S. degree in biology from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

The Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences was established in 2005 as part of a $10.2 million gift to the College of Science and Mathematics from the Robert M. Fisher Foundation. Its purpose is to honor the memory of the Fisher family by incorporating research opportunities into the undergraduate learning experience through the support of the scholarly growth of highly promising faculty researchers in the physical and biological sciences who are in the early stages of their careers at Towson.





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