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Protein Society Awards

The nominating process for the 2020 Protein Society Awards is now closed. Winners will be announced in March 2022, and awards will be presented at our 36th Annual Symposium, held in San Francisco, California from July 7 - 10, 2022.

The Protein Society announces its 2021 award recipients. Read the press release here

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.

Carl Brändén Award

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 and additional contributions to education/service.


Sheila Jaswal, Ph.D.
2021 Carl Brändén Award Winner

Amherst College

The 2021 recipient of this award is Professor Sheila Jaswal. Professor Jaswal is an expert on kinetic and thermodynamic mechanisms for protein stabilization and an award-winning teacher. With a team of undergraduates, she has developed tools to better understand the diversity of protein folding kinetics and provided a theoretical framework for mapping energy landscapes under native conditions using hydrogen-exchange mass spectrometry. In response to a 2015 campus-wide Black Lives Matter protest, she collaborated with students to develop “Being Human in STEM” (HSTEM). In this moment of unprecedented recognition of racism in science, the HSTEM model offers a structure that welcomes participants in their complex intersecting identities, educates them about racism, and gives them practice with having difficult conversations, collaborating across differences, and making realistic and effective change.  

Previous Award Winners

2020 - Karen Fleming; 2019 - Minoru Kanehisa; 2018 - Jane and Dave Richardson; 2017 - Billy Hudson; 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

Christian B. Anfinsen Award

Established in 1996 and named for Nobel laureate Christian 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.


Petra Fromme, Ph.D.
2021 Christian B. Anfinsen Award Winner

Arizona State University

The recipient of this award in 2021 is Professor Petra Fromme.  Professor Fromme is a world leader in developing and applying novel technology for determining the structures of proteins, including the most challenging among them: membrane proteins. She has led this field by assembling a large network of collaborators spanning chemistry, physics, data science, biology, materials science, and engineering to pioneer the method of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX), which is used to collect snapshots of molecules in action. She has made important contributions to the structural biology of large membrane protein complexes, especially those involved in light capture and energy conversion.


Previous Award Winners

2020 - Stephen Sligar; 2019 - Anthony Kossiakoff; 2018 - Yifan Cheng; 2017 - Lewis Kay; 2016 - Andreas Pluckthun;
2015 - Sachdev Sidhu; 2014 - Robert Tycko; 2013 - Tom Alber; 2012 - Barry Honig; 2011 - Wayne Bolen;
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

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award

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.

Janet Smith.png

Janet Smith, Ph.D.
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award Winner

University of Michigan

The 2021 recipient is Professor Janet Smith. Professor Smith is recognized for exceptional contributions to our understanding of the biological function of proteins through knowledge of their 3D structures. In major studies of natural-product biosynthetic enzymes, she demonstrated how macrolactones form, how biosynthetic assembly lines function, and how nature has adapted enzymes from primary metabolism for surprising chemical transformations such as cyclopropane formation. Her recent investigations of viral proteins and host antiviral proteins led to an understanding of how the flavivirus NS1 protein increases the virulence of dengue and Zika viruses, and how the zinc-finger antiviral protein recognizes viral RNA.

Previous Award Winners

2020 - Catherine Drennan; 2019 - Hao Wu; 2018 - Susan Marqusee; 2017 - Juli Feigon and Manajit Hayer-Hartl;
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

Emil Thomas Kaiser Award

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.


Lei Wang, Ph.D.
Emil Thomas Kaiser Award Winner

University of California, San Francisco

The 2021 recipient is Professor Lei Wang. Professor Wang has advanced the genetic introduction of unnatural amino acids into proteins in living systems. Professor Wang pioneered the concept of proximity-enabled bioreactivity, in which an unnatural amino acid selectively reacts with a nearby target natural amino acid, introducing a new covalent bond into a protein. Such modifications can confer exceptional stability, affinity, and optical control on targeted proteins. Technology that Professor Wang developed makes it possible to identify elusive protein interactions in living cells, and provides a route to covalent protein therapeutics. His contributions open up a new field with impacts on biological studies, biotherapeutics, and synthetic biology.

Previous Award Winners

2020 - Shuguang Zhang; 2019 - Shahriar Mobashery; 2018 - Michael Rosen; 2017- Thomas Muir; 2016 - Charles Craik;
2015 - Anna Mapp; 2014 - Carol Fierke; 2013 - Wilfred van der Donk; 2012 - No Award Given This Year;
2011 - Jeffery Kelly; 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

Hans Neurath Award

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.


Toshiya Endo, Ph.D.
Hans Neurath Award Winner

Kyoto Sangyo University

Professor Endo has made outstanding contributions to the fields of intracellular protein sorting and mitochondrial biology and is an international leader in the area of structure-function studies of cell organelles. His work combines biochemical, structural, and molecular biological approaches in a highly innovative and productive manner to solve major problems of protein research. The molecular understanding of the mitochondrial protein import machinery elucidated by Professor Endo is a highlight of mitochondrial research and provides an essential basis for understanding diseases of mitochondrial dysfunction.



Amy Rosenzweig, Ph.D.
Hans Neurath Award Winner

Northwestern University

Professor Rosenzweig is a preeminent protein biochemist who tackles problems at the forefront of bioinorganic chemistry. Her lab studies metal-dependent methane oxidation, oxygen activation, and metal uptake and transport using structural, spectroscopic, biochemical, genetic, and bioinformatics approaches. Her contributions characterizing the membrane-bound methane monooxygenase have inspired new ways to harness the energy of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as an alternative liquid fuel source. Other work from Professor Rosenzweig on copper uptake may hold therapeutic potential in Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder leading to copper overload in humans.

Previous Award Winners

2020 - Martin Gruebele; 2019 - Dave Thirumalai; 2018 - David Baker; 2017 - Kazuhiro Nagata; 2016 - H. Eric Xu;
2015 - Marina Rodnina; 2014 - James Hurley; 2013 - Jennifer Doudna and Chuck Sanders; 2012 - Charles Brooks;
2011 - Johannes Buchner; 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

Stein & Moore Award

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.


David Agard, Ph.D.
Stein & Moore Award Winner

University of California, San Francisco

The 2021 recipient is Professor David Agard. Professor Agard’s contributions cover a broad array of scientific areas, from protein folding to chaperone mechanisms, and from cytoskeletal structure and function to the structure of the centrosome. His recent determination of the structural details of complexes of Hsp90 with substrates, partner chaperones, and co‐chaperones have yielded unprecedented insights into client loading, remodeling, and maturation by this system. He has made important methodological contributions to the development of cryoEM and has integrated structural biology and biophysics to interrogate dynamic protein systems, opening up previously uncharted domains of cell biology. Professor Agard is also recognized for exceptional mentoring and advocacy for the field of protein science.

Previous Award Winners

2020 - Jim Bowie; 2019 - Dame Carol Robinson; 2018 - Raymond Stevens; 2017 - John Kuriyan; 2016 - Jane Clarke;
2015 - William DeGrado; 2014 - Nikolaus Pfanner; 2013 - Robert T. Sauer; 2012 - No Award Given This Year;
2011 - Gerhard Wagner; 2010 - Peter Wright; 2009 - Peter Walter; 2008 - Susan Lindquist; 2007 - Paul Schimmel;
2006 - Arthur Horwich & F. Ulrich Hartl; 2005 - Avram Hershko & 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

Protein Science Young Investigator Award

The Protein Science Young Investigator Award, sponsored by Wiley, 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.


Bruno Correia, Ph.D.
Protein Science Young Investigator Award Winner


The 2021 recipient is Professor Bruno Correia. During his time at EPFL, Professor Correia has combined computational science with experimental studies in the area of protein design. He developed methods for the de novo design of proteins that present native binding epitopes, and he led a collaborative team to demonstrate that designed proteins can induce neutralizing antibodies against respiratory syncytial virus. Professor Correia has also pioneered impactful computational methods using machine learning to advance our understanding of molecular recognition.

Previous Award Winners

2020 - Mohammad Seyedsayamdost; 2019 - Gabriel Lander; 2018 - Brandon Ruotolo; 2017 - David Pagliarini;
2016 - Benjamin Garcia; 2015 - Nieng Yan; 2014 - M. Madan Babu; 2012 - Mei Hong and Tarun M. Kapoor;
2011 - Shu-ou Shan; 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 O'Shea 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