Black recognized for leadership in research, mentoring

Black-M-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Margaret E. Black, professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, is the winner of the 2013-14 Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award from the Washington State University Association for Faculty Women (AFW).

She will be acknowledged during the Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on March 28, part of WSU’s annual Showcase celebration of faculty, staff and student excellence. Showcase reservations are being accepted at through Wednesday, March 19.

The award recognizes “an AFW member whose leadership has advanced the role of women in the WSU system and/or who has demonstrated leadership in higher education, the community or her profession at the local, state, regional, national or international level.” It was established in 2000 to show AFW’s appreciation to former President Smith for his leadership in advancing the role of women at WSU.

A scientist and professor at WSU since 1998, Black works to develop targeted therapies to treat cancer, where biomarkers distinguish and kill cancerous cells while sparing the noncancerous.

She worked with colleagues to boost the stability of proteins when heated, which could lead to the rapid development of “designer” proteins such as pollution-degrading enzymes and anticancer agents.

Her work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and she collaborates with scientists at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the University of Washington and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Black has co-authored at least 40 publications, runs a research laboratory, trains students and post-doctoral fellows and teaches pharmacy students.

Her leadership roles have included director of the NIH biotechnology training program at WSU, president of the AFW 2007-08 and head of the pharmacology and toxicology graduate program. She has served on the Faculty Status Committee and Provost Search Committee and as the J. Roberts and Marcia Fosberg distinguished professor of pharmacy.

In addition to the March 28 banquet, WSU Showcase includes the Distinguished Faculty Address (March 27); the Academic Showcase display of faculty, staff and student work (March 28); and SURCA, the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (March 28).