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The nominating process for the 2020 Protein Society Awards is now closed. Winners will be announced in March 2020, and awards will be presented at our 34th Annual Symposium, 2020 World Conference on Protein Science, held in Sapporo, Japan.

The Protein Society announces its 2019 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

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

Minoru Kanehisa,
2019 Carl Brändén Award Winner

(Kyoto University)

The 2019 recipient of this award is Professor Minoru Kanehisa (Kyoto University). Professor Kanehisa is one of the world leaders in the bioinformatics field. The KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) database, which he established in 1995 and continues to develop, provides a very original and useful data resource not only in the protein science field, but also in much wider fields of general biology and medicine. KEGG integrates information on biological systems from the organismal-level, to the cell-level, to the molecular level and includes genomic, chemical, and human health data both for understanding biological systems and practical applications in society. Professor Kanehisa will receive his award and be recognized at the 2020 World Conference on Protein Science in Sapporo, Japan, a joint symposium organized by The Protein Society, the PSSJ (Protein Science Society of Japan), and Asia Pacific Protein Association (APPA).

Christian B. Anfinsen Award

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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.

Previous Award Winners

2018 - Yifan Cheng
2017 - Lewis Kay
2016 - Andreas Pluckthun
2015 - Sachdev Sidhu
2014 - Robert Tycko
2013 - Tom Albert
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

Anthony Kossiakoff,
2019 Christian B. Anfinsen Award Winner

(University of Chicago)

The recipient of this award in 2019 is Professor Anthony Kossiakoff (University of Chicago). Professor Kossiakoff’s achievements have had broad and sustained impact through the development of innovative technologies and major discoveries in the field of protein structure and function. Areas in which he has made significant advances in protein science include: pioneering the use of neutron-­crystallography to understand protein structure, dynamics, catalysis and chemistry; determination of the first cytokine-­receptor complex: a structural paradigm for the cytokine family and signaling; allostery in protein-protein interfaces; and development of crystallization chaperones for challenging biomolecules.

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

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

Hao Wu, 2019 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award Winner

(Harvard University)

The 2019 recipient is Professor Hao Wu (Harvard University). The selection of Professor Wu was driven by two interconnecting threads: the remarkable achievements she has made in changing how we view the molecular mechanism of signal transduction and recent work from her laboratory that has illuminated inflammasome assembly and the resulting pyroptotic cell death. The signalosome concept that Professor Wu pioneered established the importance of oligomeric, cooperatively assembled protein complexes for immune receptor signaling and by extension, for intracellular signaling more generally.

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

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

Shahriar Mobashery,
2019 Emil Thomas Kaiser Award Winner

(University of Notre Dame) 

The 2019 recipient is Professor Shahriar Mobashery (University of Notre Dame). Professor Mobashery has made numerous contributions to the discovery of new antibiotics, antibiotic mechanisms of action, mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, and studies of cell‐wall biosynthesis, recycling and regulation. He has authored >370 scientific publications and his work has been cited >19,000 times to date. Professor Mobashery is recognized with the Emil Thomas Kaiser Award for his applications of outstanding creative chemistry to the understanding of protein science, specifically his recent, seminal work on cell‐wall biosynthesis, recycling and regulation is noted.

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

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

Dave Thirumalai, 2019 Hans Neurath Award Winner

(University of Texas at Austin)

In 2019, the Hans Neurath Awardee is Professor Dave Thirumalai (University of Texas at Austin). Professor Thirumalai has been a pioneer in advancing our understanding of biomolecular actions, particularly protein and RNA folding, and the basis for how molecular motors convert energy to motion. Professor Thirumalai, one of the top theorists in delineating the principles of protein and RNA folding, is unique in driving and interpreting experiments, and collaborating with experimentalist colleagues. He was the first to quantify the heterogeneity and bumpiness of protein folding landscapes, through the definition of a glass temperature and its ratio with the folding temperature.

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

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 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

Dame Carol Robinson, 2019 Stein & Moore Award Winner

(University of Oxford)

The 2019 recipient is Professor Dame Carol Robinson (University of Oxford). Professor Robinson’s research focuses on applications of mass spectrometry to the study of proteins and their interactions. Early in her career she modified instrumentation to transmit folded proteins, molecular chaperones and other dynamic macromolecular assemblies. Subsequently, she has concentrated on membrane protein complexes, their modulation through lipid and drug binding, and their study from native membrane environments. Overall, Professor Robinson’s sustained and focused effort has resulted not only in new insights into protein structure and function but has also established a new field ‐ that of structural biology in the gas phase.

Protein Science Young Investigator Award

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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.

Previous Award Winners

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 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

Gabriel Lander, 2019 Protein Science Young Investigator Award winner

(Scripps Research Institute)

The 2019 recipient is Professor Gabriel Lander (Scripps Research Institute). Professor Lander is recognized as one of the most prolific scientists of his generation in developing and applying methods of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). to provide groundbreaking structural and mechanistic insights into a variety of complex macromolecular machines. His outstanding body of work as an independent faculty, combined with his unparalleled expertise and enthusiasm for tackling difficult biological questions have propelled him to the forefront of structural biology.