Issue Date: March 1, 2010
JoAnne Stubbe Wins Prelog Medal
JoAnne Stubbe, the Novartis Professor of Chemistry & Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the winner of the 2009 Prelog Medal, awarded annually by the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. The prize recognizes an individual who has made fundamental contributions in the field of stereochemistry.
Stubbe’s groundbreaking studies of ribonucleotide reductases have revolutionized the field of enzymology. She established a unifying mechanism for ribonucleotide reductases in which a protein-based thiyl radical abstracts a hydrogen atom from the ribonucleotide 3ʹ position, initiating formation of nucleotide radicals that are ultimately reduced by a pair of cysteine thiols at the enzyme’s active site. This work has contributed directly to the development of drugs such as gemcitabine for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
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