Marvin Wickens receives 2008 Hilldale Award

Marvin Wickens, Max Perutz Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is among four UW-Madison faculty members to receive 2008 Hilldale Awards, which annually recognize excellence in teaching, research and service.

The awards, which have been given yearly since 1987, honor top professors in four university divisions: biological sciences, physical sciences, social studies and arts and humanities.

The Hilldale Fund makes the awards possible. This year’s awards will be presented at the Faculty Senate meeting on Monday, April 7.

Wickens, a faculty member since 1983, is an internationally recognized leader and innovator in the highly competitive research area of eukaryotic gene expression. His work, which lies at the intersection of developmental biology, molecular genetics and biochemistry, has identified components key in regulating RNA and new enzymes crucial to the control of RNA.

In addition to making a number of exceptional scientific discoveries, Wickens has worked to develop powerful technologies for the study of RNA. Many of these technologies have led to patents, and Wickens’ work aims to expand on these technologies.

Wickens has also been a successful adviser and mentor and has trained 29 doctoral students and 10 postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to their own faculty positions.

Wickens also established and led campus faculty with an interest in RNA research into a cohesive group called the RNA MaxiGroup, which is now 20 years old and has provided a forum for stimulating discussion and collaboration across the campus.

He is also active on the national front, serving on a number of editorial boards and several National Institutes of Health panels. Several months ago, the RNA Society presented Wickens with its Lifetime Service Award.

Wickens earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley, and a doctorate from Stanford University.