Kendall J. Blumer, PhD
Kendall J. Blumer, PhD, professor of cell biology and physiology, is honored for his significant fundamental discoveries in cell signaling pathways.
Blumer’s research focuses on G proteins, which transmit chemical signals across cell membranes. G proteins function as molecular switches that regulate a host of basic cell functions ranging from hormone release to learning and memory. Studying G protein signaling first in yeast and later in vertebrates, Blumer has contributed many seminal findings elucidating the components and mechanisms of G protein signaling. His current work examines the role of G proteins in widely diverse areas including hypertension, the nervous system and cancer.
Peers describe Blumer as a brilliant, creative, highly productive scientist who also excels in mentoring the next generation. He has mentored seven PhD students and 12 postdoctoral trainees, several of whom now hold tenured positions at leading universities. Blumer is the founding director of the Division of Biology and Biomedical Science (DBBS) BioMed RAP Program, which promotes interest in science careers among underrepresented minority high school students. He also directed the DBBS Cell and Molecular Biology program for six years.
He holds long tenures on the Washington University Council of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Admissions Committee, sits on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections, and has served on the editorial boards of numerous prestigious scientific journals, including Nature and Science.
Blumer earned his undergraduate degree from Rice University in 1977 and his doctoral degree from Duke University in 1986. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990, and then joined the Washington University faculty.