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Nominations are due annually by October 31. In 2018, we will present our awards at the 32nd Annual Symposium of The Protein Society in Boston, Massachusetts, July 9 - 12.

The Protein Society announces its 2017 Award Recipients. To view the official press release, click here.

Protein Society Awards

TPS awards recognize excellence across the diverse disciplines that collectively advance our understanding of proteins; their structure, function, design, and application. The Awards honor researchers who have distinguished themselves with significant achievements in protein research and those who have made outstanding contributions in leadership, teaching, and service. TPS members submit nominations, which are awarded by Executive Council, and recipients are honored at the Annual Symposium.

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Carl Brändén Award

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In the tradition of Carl Brändén, pioneer in structural biology, co-author of the seminal text Introduction to Protein Structure, and leader of the world-class synchrotron facility at Grenoble, the Carl Brändén Award, sponsored by Rigaku Corporation, honors an outstanding protein scientist who has also made exceptional contributions in the areas of education and/or service.

Specific Requirement: Sustained, high-impact research contributions to the field.

Previous Award Winners

2016 - Gary Pielak
2015 - C. Robert Matthews

2014 - Stephen White
2013 - Sheena Radford
2012 - Helen Berman
2011 - Michael Summers
2010 - Nobuhiro Go
2009 - Bruce Alberts
2008 - Howard Schachman
2007 - Lubert Stryer

Billy Hudson, 2017
Carl Brändén Award Winner

(Vanderbilt University)

The 2017 recipient of this award is Dr. Billy Hudson (Vanderbilt University). Dr. Hudson has worked tirelessly to develop the Aspirnaut K-20 STEM Pipeline for Diversity Program that provides internships to an untapped pool of talented high-school students to encourage them to work in the STEM fields and go on to college. Hudson’s outstanding research accomplishments include seminal discoveries about the structure and chemistry of collagen IV scaffolds in extracellular basement membranes and have led to a potential treatment of diabetic kidney disease.

Christian B. Anfinsen Award

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Established in 1996 and named for Nobel laureate Christain Boehmer Anfinsen, whose research on the structure and function of enzyme proteins contributed to the general acceptance of the “thermodynamic hypothesis,” The Christian B. Anfinsen Award recognizes significant technological achievements and/or methodological advancements in protein research.

Specific Requirement: Technological achievement or significant methodological advances.

Previous Award Winners

2016 - Andreas Pluckthun
2015 - Sachdev Sidhu
2014 - Robert Tycko
2013 - Tom Albert
2010 - Yoshinori Fujiyoshi
2009 - Wayne Hubbell
2008 - Carol Robinson
2007 - Carl Frieden
2006 - John R. Yates, III
2005 - Matthias Mann
2004 - Meir Wilchek
2003 - Ada Yonath
2002 - Roger Tsien
2001 - Martin Karplus
2000 - Stephen Benkovic
1999 - Alan Fersht
1998 - James Wells
1997 - Wayne Hendrickson
1996 - Donald Hunt

Lewis Kay, 2017 Christian B. Anfinsen Award Winner

(University of Toronto)

The recipient of this award in 2017 is Dr. Lewis Kay (University of Toronto). Dr. Lewis Kay has been involved in developing a large number of ground-breaking tools and approaches that have revolutionized NMR spectroscopy and have rendered it one of the most powerful techniques in protein science. The research in Dr. Kay's laboratory focuses on the development of NMR techniques for studying macromolecular structure and dynamics and the application of NMR techniques to problems of biological and clinical importance.

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award

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Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was a founder of protein crystallography as well as a Nobel laureate. 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.

Specific Requirement: Profound influence on our understanding of biology.

Previous Award Winners

2016 - Rachel Klevit
2015 - Eva Nogales
2014 - Judith Frydman

2013 - Christopher Hill and Cynthia Wolberger
2012 - Mark Lemmon
2011 - Brenda Schulman and Wei Yang
2010 - Lila Gierasch
2009 - Janet Thornton
2008 - Douglas Rees
2007 - Leemor Joshua-Tor

Juli Feigon, 2017 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award Winner

(University of California - Los Angeles)

The 2017 award will be presented this year to two deserving nominees. The first is Dr. Juli Feigon (University of California, Los Angeles). Feigon’s structural studies on proteins has largely evolved around proteins interacting with DNA or RNA, and has revealed interactions crucial to understanding DNA repair and regulation of gene expression. Feigon’s recent accomplishment is structural analysis of the Tetrahymena telomerase complex, a multisubunit riboprotein complex responsible for the maintenance of telomeres. The structures provide new mechanistic knowledge of telomere function associated with aging and cancer.

Manajit Hayer-Hartl, 2017 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award Winner

(Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry)

The co-recipient of the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award is Dr. Manajit Hayer-Hartl (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry). For the past 2 decades Dr. Hayer-Hartl has investigated the mechanism of GroEL and its co-factor GroES. This work led to the insight that the chaperonin, in addition to preventing aggregation,  profoundly influences the free-energy landscapes for some proteins by accelerating folding through entropic destabilization of unfolded states in the confining environment of the folding cage, a mechanism that can be considered specific to chaperonin.

Emil Thomas Kaiser Award

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In 2002, The Protein Society established The Emil Thomas Kaiser Award. Dr. Kaiser’s highly original research, including the profoundly significant discovery of the necessity amphiphilic helices to biological life, can be said to have introduced a new field of chemistry. In this tradition, The Emil Thomas Kaiser Award recognizes a recent, highly significant contribution in applying chemistry to the study of proteins. 

To make a donation in support of the Kaiser Award Endowment, please visit this webpage.

Specific Requirement: Application of chemistry to the study of proteins.

Previous Award Winners

2016 - Charles Craik
2015 - Anna Mapp
2014 - Carol Fierke
2013 - Wilfred van der Donk
2010 - Suzanne Walker
2009 - Donald Hilvert
2008 - JoAnne Stubbe
2007 - Michael Marletta
2006 - Barbara Imperiali

Previous recipients, sponsored by SynPep Corporation, include:

2005 - Ronald Raines
2004 - Homme Hellinga
2003 - Michael Hecht
2002 - Steve Kent

Thomas Muir, 2017 Emil Thomas Kaiser Award winner

(Princeton University)
The 2017 recipient is Dr. Thomas Muir (Princeton University). Muir is known for his innovative work to develop semisynthetic approaches, known as “expressed protein ligation,” to manipulate covalent structure of proteins. By combining tools of organic chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology, Muir has developed a suite of new technologies for making proteins with defined post-translational modifications, enabling functional studies of how proteins work that would otherwise not be possible. The chemistry-driven approaches pioneered by the Muir lab are now widely used by chemical biologists around the world. 

Hans Neurath Award

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Hans Neurath played an integral role in the early life of the Society, as a founding member and later -at age 81- as founding editor of Protein Science. His contributions to the early success of the Society were surpassed only by his larger contributions to the field of biochemistry and our early understanding of proteins.

Reflective of his prolific contributions to the understanding of the physical chemistry of proteins, The Hans Neurath Award, sponsored by the Hans Neurath Foundation, seeks to honor individuals who have made a recent contribution of exceptional merit to basic protein research.

Specific Requirement: A recent contribution of unusual merit to basic protein science.

Previous Award Winners

2016 - H. Eric Xu
2015 - Marina Rodnina
2014 - James Hurley
2013 - Jennifer Doudna and Chuck Sanders
2012 - Charles Brooks
2010 - Wendell Lim
2009 - William Eaton
2008 - Robert Stroud
2007 - Robert Sauer
2006 - Christopher Dobson
2005 - Roderick MacKinnon
2004 - Carlos Bustamante
2003 - James Wells
2002 - Ad Bax
2001 - Arthur Horwich
2000 - Janet Thornton
1999 - Peter Kim
1998 - Ken Dill

Kazuhiro Nagata, 2017 Hans Neurath Award winner

(Kyoto Sangyo University)

In 2017, the Hans Neurath Awardee is Dr. Kazuhiro Nagata (Kyoto Sangyo University). Nagata has made fundamental discoveries advancing our understanding of protein quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum. Dr. Nagata's research focuses on functional analysis of collagen-specific molecular chaperone, Hsp47; functional analysis of mammalian ER quality control and ER-associated degradation; and ER-associated degradation of misfolded proteins by the EDEM-ERdj5 system. 

Stein & Moore Award

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The Stein and Moore Award, named for Nobel laureates Dr. William Stein and Dr. Stanford Moore, venerates their contribution to understanding the connection between chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active center of the ribonuclease molecule. Established in 1986, the Stein and Moore Award is given to recognize eminent leaders in protein science who have made sustained high impact research contributions to the field.

Specific Requirement: Sustained, high-impact research contributions to the field.

Previous Award Winners

2016 - Jane Clarke
2015 - William DeGrado
2014 - Nikolaus Pfanner
2013 - Robert T. Sauer
2010 - Peter Wright
2009 - Peter Walter
2008 - Susan Lindquist
2007 - Paul Schimmel
2006 - Arthur Horwich and F. Ulrich Hartl
2005 - Avram Hershko and Alexander Varshavsky
2004 - Wolfgang Baumeister
2003 - Chris Dobson
2002 - Paul Sigler
2001 - Alan Fersht
2000 - Brian Matthews
1999 - Mo Cleland
1998 - David Davies
1997 - Mildred Cohn
1996 - David Eisenberg
1995 - Harold Scheraga
1994 - Michael Rossman
1993 - Walter Kauzmann
1992 - Robert Baldwin
1991 - Russell Doolittle
1990 - Kurt Wuthrich
1989 - Hans Neurath
1988 - Fred Richards
1987 - Emil Smith

John Kuriyan, 2017 Stein & Moore Award winner

(University of California - Berkeley)

The 2017 recipient is Dr. John Kuriyan (University of California, Berkeley). Kuriyan’s major scientific contributions have been in understanding the regulation of eukaryotic cell signaling and the phenomenon of processivity in DNA repair. His contributions include seminal studies on the structural basis of regulating protein interactions and molecular mechanisms associated with cancer. These insights come from work on protein kinases such as the Src-family kinases, Abelson tyrosine kinase, the epidermal growth factor receptor and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II.

Protein Science Young Investigator Award

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The Protein Science Young Investigator Award, formerly known as The Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, recognizes a scientist in the first 8 years of an independent career who has made an important contribution to the study of proteins.*

*With allowances for familial leave or other exigent circumstance.

Specific Requirement: Within 8 years of starting an independent career.

Previous Award Winners

2016 - Benjamin Garcia
2015 - Nieng Yan
2014 - M. Madan Babu
2013 - Feng Shao
2010 - Charalampos Kalodimos
2009 - Virginia Cornish
2008 - Jamie H. Doudna Cate
2007 - Benjamin Cravatt, III
2006 - Vijay Pande
2005 - Thomas Muir
2004 - Erin OíShea and Jonathan Weissman
2003 - Yigong Shi
2002 - Carolyn Bertozzi
2001 - Kevan Shokat
2000 - David Baker
1999 - Jeffery Kelly
1998 - Nikola Pavletich
1997 - John Kuriyan
1996 - Michael Summers
1995 - Stuart Schreiber
1994 - Peter Kim
1993 - Ad Bax and Marius Clore
1992 - Peter Schultz
1991 - Carl Pabo
1990 - Rachel Klevit
1989 - William DeGrado

David Pagliarini, 2017 Protein Science Young Investigator Award winner

(University of Wisconsin)

The 2017 recipient is Dr. David Pagliarini (University of Wisconsin, Madison). From the earliest point in his career, Pagliarini has made substantive and lasting contributions to our understanding of mitochondrial protein function. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Pagliarini has revealed a large number of mitochondrial proteins have no established function, and many are associated with human disease. His goal is to use a range of techniques to connect “orphan” proteins with mitochondrial pathways and processes.