2022 Society for Glycobiology Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Parastoo Azadi

In 2021, the SFG Board of Directors established the Distinguished Service Award, which is intended for individuals with a sustained record of distinguished service to the Society for Glycobiology and/or the glycobiology community. In 2022, it is with great pleasure that the Board has unanimously selected Dr. Parastoo Azadi as the recipient of the SFG Distinguished Service Award. 

Dr. Azadi was born in Iran and immigrated to the United Kingdom in 1978. She received her B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1987 from the University of North London and her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1991 from Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, studying structural characterization of carbohydrates and glycoproteins by mass spectrometry under the supervision of Profs. A. Dell and H.R. Morris.  From 1990 to 1994 she was the senior scientist and study director at M-Scan limited, an Analytical Mass Spectrometry Consultancy in the United Kingdom, where she performed structural characterization of native and recombinant glycoproteins using mass spectrometry as a service to the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Azadi joined theComplex Carbohydrate Research Center(CCRC) in 1994 as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Drs. Albersheim and Darvill and studied the effect of the enzymes endohyrolase and endolyase on rhamnogalacturonan I. She also became involved in CCRC’s service and training activities and by 2001 became its Technical Director, and in 2017 its Executive Technical Director.  In this role, she supervised training and service for three federally funded centers, the DOE Center for Plant and Microbial Complex Carbohydrates and the NIH Resource Centers for Integrated Glycotechnology and for Biomedical Glycomics. In 2021 she was promoted to Associate Director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center for Analytical Service, Training, and Dissemination, and is currently principal investigator for the NIH “National Resource Center in Glycoscience” and the Department of Energy “Center for Plant and Microbial Complex Carbohydrates”. She is also co-investigator and director of analytical characterization for GlycoMIP, an NSF-funded Material Innovation Platform. 

Dr. Azadi has offered research, service and hands-on training to the larger scientific community and has ensured new technologies are disseminated to investigators in the glycobiology community. Dr. Azadi has realized that building aworld-renowned service and training center requires engagement with many different facets of the scientific community. To that end, she hasdeveloped important collaborations with many national and international partners, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food, and biofuel companies, as well as with the U.S FDA and Pharmacopeia. She has also been instrumental in engaging the larger scientific community in understanding the great challenges we face in the structural characterization of glycoconjugates and the associated requirements for ever-changing technologies and tools. Dr. Azadi’s group has collaborated with over 2000 investigators from both non-profit institutions and industry on characterizations of glycans and has helped train over 6000 scientists as part CCRC’s annual hands-on training courses.  Thus, she has had a broad impact on glycobiology, not only by facilitating education and training in complex technical aspects of the field, but also by contributing to many studies on the role of carbohydrates in various aspects of biology, which is at the heart of our endeavor. Considering its intent, Dr. Azadi’s accomplishments make her an obvious and highly deserving recipient of the 2022 SFG Distinguished Service Award,