2014 Protein Society Awards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2014
THE PROTEIN SOCIETY ANNOUNCES ITS 2014 AWARD RECIPIENTS
BALTIMORE, MD – The Protein Society, the only international society devoted to furthering research aimed at understanding proteins, announces the winners of The 2014 Protein Society Awards. The awards will be conferred at the 28th Annual Symposium of The Protein Society (July 27-30, 2014, San Diego, CA, USA). Plenary talks from each recipient are scheduled throughout the 3.5 day event.
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 2014 recipient of this award is Dr. Stephen H. White (University of California, Irvine) in recognition of his many contributions to the field of membrane protein folding, his long service to the protein science community, and his skills as an educator of graduate students and postdocs in particular. His research has provided much fundamental insight into the thermodynamics of folding in and on the membrane. Dr. White has made major contributions to multiple scientific societies, including The Protein Society, and –among other service activities– maintains the widely-utilized Membrane Proteins of Known 3D Structure website.
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 2014 award will be presented to Dr. Judith Frydman (Stanford University) for exceptional contributions to our understanding of protein folding in eukaryotic cells. Dr. Frydman uses creative combinations of biochemical, genetic, biophysical, and computational analysis to dissect the mechanisms by which cells manage misfolded proteins, with a particular focus on the group II cytosolic chaperonin TRiC.
The Hans Neurath Award, sponsored by The Neurath Foundation, recognizes individuals who have made a recent contribution of unusual merit to basic research in the field of protein science. In 2014 the Hans Neurath Awardee is Dr. James H. Hurley (University of California, Berkeley) for his ground-breaking contributions to structural membrane biology and membrane trafficking. Throughout his career, Dr. Hurley has produced fundamental insights about proteins that function at the membrane-solvent interface, including how signaling molecules interface with and are regulated by lipids, mechanisms of vesicle formation by ESCRT machinery, and, most recently, the regulation of clathrin coated vesicle formation and the initiation of autophagy.
The Christian B. Anfinsen Award, sponsored by The Protein Society, recognizes significant technical achievements in the field of protein science. The recipient of this award in 2014 is Dr. Robert Tycko (National Institutes of Health) for his seminal contributions to the development of modern solid state nuclear magnetic resonance methods for structural investigations of proteins and influential studies on amyloid fibrils associated with neurodegeneration and disease. Dr. Tycko’s achievements in this area are highlighted by his recent presentation of the first detailed structure of β-amyloid fibrils from Alzheimer’s disease brain tissue and evidence for structural variations that underlie prion diseases.
The Emil Thomas Kaiser Award, sponsored The Protein Society, recognizes a recent, highly significant contribution to the application of chemistry in the study of proteins. The 2014 awardee is Dr. Carol Fierke (Dept. of Chemistry, University of Michigan). Dr. Fierke is being recognized for her exceptional contributions to our understanding of the metal homeostasis, and to understanding of the structure and mechanism of ribonuclease P. Her research has combined metallochemistry, biochemistry, genetics and a wide range of spectroscopic techniques to uncover details of metal affinity, substrate specificity, and roles to catalytic activity in numerous biologically and medically important enzymes. Amongst her groundbreaking achievements include the development of protein-based metal biosensors and techniques for monitoring metal ions in vivo for probing metal transport and toxicity.
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 2014 awardee is Dr. Nikolaus Pfanner (Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Freiburg) in recognition of his contributions to understanding pathways of cellular sorting that underlie the biogenesis of mitochondria. His pioneering research includes the first comprehensive proteomic analysis of mitochondria, the discovery of three new pathways of mitochondrial import, and the reconstitution of mitochondrial import channels and unraveling mechanisms of protein translocation.
The Protein Science 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 2014 awardee is Dr. M. Madan Babu (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK). Dr. Babu is being recognized for his contributions to our understanding of the principles of regulation in biological systems – especially in the fields of intrinsically disordered proteins and gene regulation. He was appointed in 2006 as one of the youngest independent group leaders in the Structural Studies division at the LMB. Dr. Babu employs an interdisciplinary approach, combining computational and experimental methods to investigate regulatory processes at multiple scales of complexity (ranging from the molecular to the genome level) across a wide range of model organisms.
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The Protein Society is the leading international Society devoted to furthering research and development in protein science. 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, Executive Director at (443) 543-5452.