The Protein Society Announces Its 2013 Award Recipients

February 27, 2013

The Protein Society, the leading international society devoted to furthering research and development in protein science, announces the winners of its 2013 Awards. The awards will be conferred at the 27th Annual Symposium of The Protein Society (July 20-23, 2013, Boston, MA, USA).

Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) February 27, 2013

The Protein Society, the leading international society devoted to furthering research and development in protein science, announces the winners of its 2013 Awards. The awards will be conferred at the 27th Annual Symposium of The Protein Society (July 20-23, 2013, Boston, MA, USA).

The Carl Brändén Award, sponsored by Rigaku Corporation, is given to an outstanding protein scientist who has also made exceptional contributions in the areas of education and/or service to the science. The 2013 award will be presented to Dr. Sheena Radford (University of Leeds) for her impressive body of multidisciplinary research that positively demonstrates the efficacy of a multifaceted approach in unraveling the process of protein folding and misfolding in human disease. Dr. Radford is an enthusiastic supporter of science who is widely acknowledged for both her mentorship and her overall service to the scientific community.

The Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award, sponsored by Genentech, is granted in recognition of exceptional contributions in protein science, which profoundly influence our understanding of biology. The 2013 award will be jointly presented to Dr. Christopher Hill (University of Utah) and Dr. Cynthia Wolberger (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). Dr. Hill is recognized for his clever insights into difficult but important problems in structural biology. His accomplishments include unraveling the molecular mechanisms of the proteasome, HIV biogenesis and assembly, and ubiquitin specific enzymes. Dr. Wolberger is recognized for her outstanding achievements related to transcriptional regulation, including early studies of DNA protein recognition that revealed a structural basis for gene regulation, elucidation of the function of sirtuins, and recent efforts to establish the basis for regulating deubiquitinating activity.

The Hans Neurath Award, sponsored by The Hans Neurath Foundation, recognizes individuals who have made a recent contribution of unusual merit to basic research in the field of protein science. In 2013, Dr. Jennifer Doudna (University of California Berkeley) and Dr. Chuck Sanders (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) will each be recipients of the Hans Neurath Award. Dr. Doudna has pioneered the study of three dimensional structures of non-coding RNA to investigate how ribonucleoprotein complexes regulate protein production, and is a major contributor to an unanticipated explosion in information concerning the functions of RNA molecules in cellular mechanisms, which are important factors in understanding proteins. Dr. Chuck Sanders is being recognized for the central role he has played in developing the use of bicelles for structural study of membrane proteins, as well as for his hallmark achievements of determining the structure of diacylglycerol kinase and, more recently, the structure of the transmembrane C terminal domain of amyloid precursor protein.

The Christian B. Anfinsen Award, sponsored by The Protein Society, recognizes significant technical achievements in the field of protein science. Dr. Tom Alber (University of California, Berkeley) is the recipient of the 2013 award for his foundational studies yielding an understanding of the structure/function relationship of proteins. These studies include recognition of HNF 1a/DcoH and TRAF2/CD40, Ser/Thr/Tyr protein phosphorylation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and methods to identify alternative rotamers from standard electron density maps. His work uncovered a polymorphism of conformation to find minor populations that are essential for catalysis of proline isomerase.

The Emil Thomas Kaiser Award, sponsored in 2013 by a Society member who wished to remain anonymous, recognizes a recent, highly significant contribution to the application of chemistry in the study of proteins. Dr. Wilfred van der Donk (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) is the 2013 recipient for his groundbreaking research utilizing chemistry to investigate enzymatic reactions. His research combines synthetic organic and protein chemistry to provide fundamental insights into previously unrecognized enzymatic processes, and his accomplishments include discovery and development of new antibiotics and new tools for engineering antibacterial agents and enantioselective drugs.

The Stein & Moore Award, sponsored by The Protein Society is named for Nobel Laureates Dr. William Stein and Dr. Stanford Moore. The award venerates their contribution to understanding the connection between chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active center of the ribonuclease molecule. The 2013 award will be presented to Dr. Robert T. Sauer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for influential contributions to protein DNA recognition, folding and structural stability of proteins, protein quality control, and the operation of ATP fueled protein folding and degradation machines. Dr. Sauer has combined rigorous biophysical chemistry, mutational analyses, protein engineering, bioinformatics, and structural biology to elucidate at a profound level our understanding of what structural features are key to energetic stability and to explain the complexity of large, multicomponent protein machines.

The Protein Society Young Investigator Award, named for the academic journal of the Society, recognizes an important contribution to the study of proteins by a scientist still in the early stages of an independent career. The 2013 award will be presented to Dr. Feng Shao (National Institute of Biological Sciences). Dr. Shao´s creative work has shown how pathogenic bacteria modulate signaling cascades and evade host immune responses, and has led to several critical discoveries, such as a family of cysteine proteases that detach Rho GTPases from the membrane and several bacterial effectors that influence ubiquitin signaling.

Delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and the press can learn more about the 27th Annual Symposium at The Protein Society website http://www.proteinsociety.org/symposium or by calling (443) 543-5451.

Founded in 1986, the purpose of the Society is to provide international forums to facilitate communication, cooperation and collaboration with regard to all aspects of the study of proteins. In support of these goals, the Society publishes Protein Science, the premier journal in the field, hosts an annual international symposium, and facilitates the education of early-career protein scientists across all lines of discipline. The Protein Society members represent a wide spectrum of academic, industry, governmental, and non-profit institutions from more than 50 countries around the world. Media inquiries can be directed to Jody McGinness, Managing Director at (443) 543-5452

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