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The deadline for The Protein Society's 2017 Award Nominations has ended. Information related to the 2018 Award Nominations will be available in the summer of 2017.

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.

We will present the 2017 Awards at the 31st Annual Symposium of The Protein Society, July 24 – 27, 2017, in Montreal, Canada.

Apart from the Young Investigator Award, as specified below, there are no age or gender requirements for any of the awards. Nominations should be made for a specific award, but the awards committee reserves the right to consider a nomination under a different category.

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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

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

Gary Pielak, 2016 Carl Brändén Award Winner

UNC Chapel Hill

Dr. Gary Pielak has advanced the field of protein chemistry through pioneering research in unraveling protein biophysics in living cells. Dr. Pielak and his students developed innovative quantitative techniques to measure protein stability and diffusion in crowded samples that interfere with standard measurement techniques. He has also made major advances in elucidating how the intracellular environment impacts both globular and intrinsically disordered proteins in surprising ways. Dr. Pielak has revolutionized our understanding of how proteins work where they actually function – inside cells – and not in the artificial environment of the test tube.


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

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

Andreas Plückthun, 2016 Christian B. Anfinsen Award Winner

University of Zurich

Dr. Andreas Plückthun is a pioneer of protein engineering. By combining rigorous biophysical studies with the invention of new combinatorial and evolutionary technologies, he has advanced both basic and applied science. His research greatly contributed to enabling the emergence of antibody engineering, by the use of E. coli as an engineering platform and studies on synthetic antibodies which led to the first fully synthetic antibody library.

To create a true in vitro protein evolution technology, he developed ribosome display of whole proteins. Through his work, designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) were created as a robust alternative scaffold for binding proteins. Innovative directed evolution technologies have led to highly stable G protein-coupled receptors that can be used for structural studies and in drug screening. Several engineered therapeutics, developed on the basis of his research, are now in late phase clinical development.


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

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

Rachel Klevit, 2016 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award Winner

University of Washington

Dr. Rachel Klevit’s research contributions have made a profound impact on the way we understand very important aspects of biological chemistry, including how phosphorylation alters protein activity, regulation of transcription, and ubiquitylation. From the first structures of a zinc-finger and the RING E3 ubiquitin ligase BRCA1, Dr. Klevit has pushed NMR spectroscopy to establish new paradigms. Her research has been instrumental in understanding the mechanism of disease of two scourges, breast cancer and Parkinson’s Disease. Moreover, she has changed the way research in this area is done. Additionally, she is an exceptional mentor of younger scientists and wonderful role model for other scientists and educators at all stages of their careers.


Emil Thomas Kaiser Award

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In 1995, 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

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

Charles Craik, 2016 Emil Thomas Kaiser Award winner

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Charles S. Craik is the founder and director of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Graduate Program. He received his education and training at Allegheny College (BS), Columbia University (Ph.D.) and UCSF (Postdoctoral). He joined the UCSF faculty in 1985 where his research interests focus on defining the roles and mechanisms of enzymes in complex biological processes and on developing technologies to facilitate these studies. He is also founder of Catalyst Biosciences, a biotechnology company focused on therapeutic proteases. 

Craik is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The Craik Lab's current research focus is the chemical biology of proteolytic enzymes, their receptors and their natural inhibitors. A particular emphasis of his work is on identifying roles and regulating activity of proteases and degradative enzyme complexes associated with infectious diseases and cancer. These studies, coupled with his global substrate profiling and noninvasive imaging efforts, are providing a better understanding of both chemical make-up and biological importance of these critical proteins to aid in rapid detection, monitoring and control of infectious disease and cancer.


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

2015 - Marina Rodnina
2014 - James Hurley
2013 - Jennifer Doudna and Chuck Sanders
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

H. Eric Xu, 2016 Hans Neurath Award winner

Van Andel Research Institute

Dr. H. Eric Xu established and served as the distinguished Director of the VARI-SIMM Center for Drug Discovery at Shanghai Institute of Materia (SIMM) of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Research in his group has previously been supported by four NIH R01 grants, one Senior Investigator Award from American Asthma Foundation, and one past DOD prostate cancer idea development award, which cover structures and drug discovery of nuclear hormone receptors, hepatocyte growth factor and its receptor Met tyrosine kinase, G-protein coupled receptors, and plant hormones.

Two of his research papers on plant hormones were selected as top 10 breakthroughs by Science in 2009 and by Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2014, and his recent X-ray laser structure of the first GPCR-arrestin complex was also selected as a top 10 breakthrough by Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2016.


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

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

Jane Clarke, 2016 Stein & Moore Award winner

University of Cambridge

Dr. Jane Clarke is Professor of Molecular Biophysics in the Chemistry Department of the University of Cambridge. Her research is multidisciplinary, combining single molecule and ensemble biophysical techniques with protein engineering and simulations to investigate protein folding, misfolding and assembly. In her role as Deputy Head of the Chemistry Department in Cambridge, Dr. Clarke became involved in mentoring, career development, and leadership training for scientists at all stages in their careers.


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

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 Kiruyan
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

Benjamin Garcia, 2016 Protein Science Young Investigator Award winner

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Benjamin Garcia has been developing analytical and computational tools to understand the combinatorial complexity of simultaneously occurring histone modifications, identifying thousands of uniquely modified histone H3 forms, the significance of which is the focus of current research interest (e.g. combinatorial Histone Code). He also been involved in development of advanced mass spectrometry instrumental approaches using electron transfer dissociation and data-independent acquisition to increase the accuracy and precision for protein and proteome characterization. The Garcia lab has been developing and applying novel mass spectrometry based proteomic approaches for interrogating protein post-translational modifications (PTMs), especially those involved in epigenetic mechanisms such as histones, publishing over 170 publications.

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