Donald Hilvert

Education and Positions: B.A. Brown University, 1978; Ph.D. Columbia University, 1983; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University, 1984–1985; Assistant Member, Molecular Biology, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, 1986–1989; Associate Member, Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 1989–1994; Janet and W. Keith Kellogg II Professor of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute; Professor of Chemistry, ETH Zurich, 1997–current.

Research Interests: Chemical biology; protein engineering and enzyme design; protein cages; molecular evolution

Selected honors and Awards:  Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, American Chemical Society (1994); Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2004); The Emil Thomas Kaiser Award, The Protein Society (2009), Doctor of Philosophy honoris causis, Uppsala University (2011); Goldene Eule & Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching (2011); Feodor Lynen Medal, German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2016); Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2016); Moore Distinguished Scholar, Caltech (2019–2020); Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry, American Chemical Society (2020).  

The Protein Society: Active member since ~1990; Protein Society Executive Council 2015-2019

Service: Board Member of the Swiss Chemical Society (2001-2007); Scientific Advisory Board, Max Planck Institute of Medical Research, Heidelberg (2003-2012); Dean’s Advisory Council, School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University (2013-2023); Head, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, ETH Zürich (2004-2005); Research Commission, ETH Zürich (2008-2013); Chairman, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zürich (2014-2016); Board of Trustees of the Gordon Research Conferences (2015-2021); Chair, GRC Board of Trustees (2019); Scientific Advisory Board, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany (2020-2024)

Vision Statement: Scientific engagement has never been more necessary to society as a whole. A Protein Society member since the start of my career, I myself, having benefited enormously from this community’s spirit and support, would consider it a privilege to promote the Society’s efforts. As is true among many scientific communities today, the Protein Society faces challenges associated with increasing its membership, broadening its demographic, maintaining the high quality of its flagship journal, and making annual meetings go-to events in the field. Rapid change in the publishing world and the increasing prevalence of digital conferences and webinars will drive the Society to define and differentiate itself in coming years so as to remain competitive. My goal is to provide a flourishing haven for current and future generations of protein scientists by developing sustainable strategies to meet these challenges. It is important to many, myself among them, that the Protein Society remain vibrant and influential in the years to come.

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