James Ntambi Named ASBMB Fellow

Photo of James Ntambi
Professor James Ntambi.

Biochemistry and nutritional sciences professor James Ntambi was named a fellow of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The 20 fellows named in 2023 are recognized for their outstanding commitment to the ASBMB through participation in the society in addition to their accomplishments in research, education, mentorship, diversity and inclusion, advocacy, and service to the scientific community.

“We are delighted to welcome the 2023 class of ASBMB fellows,” said Judith Bond, past president of the ASBMB and chair of the subcommittee that manages the fellows program. “This group truly represents members who have provided exceptional commitment to our society through their service as well as outstanding contributions to advance the molecular life sciences. They reflect the breadth and diversity of our members as researchers, educators, mentors and/or advocates of our profession. It is an honor to have these individuals represent ASBMB, and we look forward to seeing them continue to serve as role models and mentors to aspiring scientists.”

Professor Ntambi was elected to the ASBMB Council in 2018 and re-elected in 2021. He has organized ASBMB conferences and symposia for the ASBMB annual meeting. He has also served as a judge for the annual undergraduate poster competition and brought many students into the ASBMB community. He won the 2013 ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education and serves as an editorial board member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

“ASBMB encourages people at all career stages to excel through opportunities for professional development, networking and interactive meetings, access to scientific journals, and more. I’m proud to be a member — and now a fellow — of this supportive international scientific and educational organization,” Ntambi says.

At UW–Madison, Ntambi and his research group study the genetic regulation of metabolism in health and disease, including the physiological role of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase genes in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism of obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease. In the early 2000s, Ntambi started a study abroad program to Uganda which has grown into several successful parallel initiatives, impacting hundreds of students.

Ntambi was nominated to be an ASBMB fellow by Gerald Hart, Dan Raben, Suzanne Barbour and David Bernlohr. Raben wrote that Ntambi “has shown that this simple structural change in fatty acids is responsible for an incredible array of biology,” while Hart noted Ntambi’s research “has been and continues to be truly outstanding and at the cutting edge, having dramatic impacts on our fundamental understanding of genetic regulation of metabolism.” Bernlohr pointed to his work bringing together “academic and research institutions across the East and Central African region with the goal of building a Ph.D. training program in basic laboratory research in biochemistry and nutritional sciences,” and Barbour noted “his commitment to training the next generation of biochemists and molecular biologists both here and in Uganda.”

The new fellows will be recognized at ASBMB’s annual meeting later this month. Congratulations, Professor Ntambi!

This announcement was adapted from an ASBMB news release. Read more about this year’s ASBMB fellows in ASBMB Today.