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Protein Society Announces 2007 Award Winners

July 16, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 29

THE PROTEIN SOCIETY has announced the winners of its 2007 awards.

Lubert Stryer, Winzer Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and emeritus professor of neurobiology at Stanford, is the recipient of the Carl Brändén Award, sponsored by Rigaku Corp., for his contributions to education in biochemistry and molecular biology. Stryer discovered the light-triggered amplification cycle in vision and developed new fluorescence techniques for studying biomolecules and cells. Stryer is the author of the widely used textbook "Biochemistry."

Leemor Joshua-Tor is the recipient of the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award, sponsored by Genentech, for her achievements in protein structure-function relationships, particularly in nucleic acid-protein interactions. Joshua-Tor has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how papillomaviruses initiate DNA replication.

Stryer and Joshua-Tor received their awards during the 7th European Symposium of the Protein Society in May.

Paul Schimmel of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at Scripps Research Institute is the recipient of the Stein & Moore Award, sponsored by the Merck Co. Foundation, for his pioneering contributions to the study of proteins. His research has concentrated on the decoding of genetic information, with emphasis on the rules of the universal genetic code, which are established through aminoacylation reactions catalyzed by a group of enzymes known as aminoacyl tRNA synthetases.

Robert T. Sauer, Salvador E. Luria Professor of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the Hans Neurath Award, sponsored by the Hans Neurath Foundation, for his contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of protein unfolding and degradation by AAA+ unfoldases and proteases.

Carl Frieden, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, is the recipient of the Christian B. Anfinsen Award, sponsored by the Aviv Family Foundation, for his pioneering contributions in fluorine NMR. Frieden was instrumental in developing the technique of incorporating 19F-labeled tryptophan into proteins of interest and then monitoring their folding and unfolding in real time with NMR. He has applied this approach successfully in both equilibrium and stopped-flow studies.

Benjamin Cravatt III of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at Scripps Research Institute is the recipient of the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, sponsored by Merck Research Labs. Cravatt created the field of activity-based protein profiling, which uses a collection of small molecules, each of which reacts covalently with a subset of the enzymes in a homologous family. Cravatt's research group has developed activity-based probes for the majority of the physiologically important enzymes and has discovered both new enzymes and established enzymes that perform new feats using this approach.

Schimmel, Sauer, Frieden, and Cravatt will receive their awards at the 21st Symposium of the Protein Society on July 24.

Michael Marletta, chair of the department of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, is the recipient of the Emil Thomas Kaiser Award, sponsored by the Protein Society, for his contributions to the field of nitric oxide biochemistry. His work has greatly enhanced the understanding of the molecular basis for nitric oxide synthesis and signaling in mammalian cells. He will receive the award at the 22nd Symposium of the Protein Society in 2008.


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