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ACS News

Welch Award goes to Adriaan Bax

by Linda Wang
September 29, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 39


Credit: Jennifer Ramyruk
Adriaan Bax

Adriaan (Ad) Bax, a National Institutes of Health Distinguished Investigator in the laboratory of chemical physics at the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, is the winner of the 2018 Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry, presented by the Welch Foundation. The $500,000 award recognizes chemical research contributions that benefit humankind.

“I am extremely excited to receive this super prestigious award,” Bax says. “It is obviously a great personal honor, but I also am particularly pleased as it recognizes the fundamental importance of the work carried out by our entire biological NMR community.”

Bax introduced an approach to nuclear magnetic resonance that allows a technique to precisely measure the orientations of chemical bonds, providing a sharper image of protein structure and motions. His work has aided the study of the structure, function, and dynamics of biological macromolecules.

“The methodology [for fast pressure-switched NMR] makes it possible to determine high-resolution structures of folding intermediates and to study disease related events such as protein aggregation and fibril formation,” Peter B. Dervan, chair of the Welch Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, said. “The importance of the work to human health is clear when one considers the significance of protein misfolding diseases and the importance of developing techniques capable of dissecting misfolding pathways.”

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