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Mary Munson elected incoming president of American Society for Cell Biology

Mary Munson, PhD
Mary Munson, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular biotechnology, vice chair of diversity for the department, and assistant vice provost for health equity

Mary Munson, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular biotechnology, vice chair of diversity for the department, and assistant vice provost for health equity, has been elected president of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Dr. Munson will serve as president-elect on the ASCB executive committee starting next year and will assume the role of the society’s president in 2025.

“It is an honor to be recognized in this way and to be seen as a leader in this space,” Munson said. “I want to bring additional recognition to the hard work and amazingness that is ASCB,” noting that the outstanding cell biology research that spans many disciplines, was well as education, career and professional development programming, are aspects that make the ASCB community special.

Munson has been a member of ASCB for more than two decades and was named an ASCB fellow in 2022. She is the co-chair of the ASCB’s Women in Cell Biology committee and a co-investigator of its AMP MOSAIC program.

“People want to be part of ASCB because it is such a great community, and its members build networks and make lifelong friends, colleagues and collaborators. Members receive career development, support and mentorship. Science is best done with teams and collaborators sharing ideas, data, and a diversity of thought, backgrounds, and ideas,” Munson said.

Munson joined UMass Chan Medical School in 2001. She leads an NIH-funded lab focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of membrane fusion regulation. Prior to joining the faculty, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, where she was awarded American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health fellowships. She was a double major in chemistry and biology at Washington University in St. Louis and received her PhD in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University.

In May, Munson was recognized with the Outstanding Mentoring to Women award by the Women’s Faculty Committee of the Diversity and Inclusion Office. In 2022, she received the Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion.

Munson is a co-leader of the Investigator Career Advancement Program, or iCAP, which aims to develop and retain early-career, research-focused faculty to ensure all faculty persist and succeed in the life sciences. She is also the faculty advisor for the UMass Chan student chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, a leader of the diversity action committee in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology and leads the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Faculty Focused on Inclusive Excellence community, focused on engaging and educating faculty to promote diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.