Professor Martin Gruebele, the James R. Eiszner Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Head of the Department of Chemistry, and Research Professor Stephen G. Sligar, who’s also affiliated with the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, are winners of the 2020 Protein Society Awards. The Protein Society, which is dedicated to their support in protein research, will confer these awards at the World Conference on Protein Science which will be held in July 2020 in Sapporo Japan.
Professor Martin Gruebele has been awarded the Hans Neurath Award for 2020, which honors individuals who have made a recent contribution of exceptional merit to basic protein research.The Protein Society had this to say “Dr. Gruebele is widely known for introducing the advanced technology of flash heating and ultrafast spectroscopy to study protein folding. His work showed that early stages of protein folding, including initial collapse and formation of secondary structures, can occur in microseconds. These advances allowed the first direct comparisons between folding rates determined experimentally and folding rates estimated from simulations. More recently, Dr. Gruebele showed that fast folding can be studied in live cells. His work established that in vivo folding, while following similar physicochemical rules as in vitro folding, is significantly modulated by the different cellular environments in different parts of the cell. Dr. Gruebele’s work brings the highest level of experimental innovation, experimental precision, and conceptual rigor to protein biophysics.”
Research Professor Stephen G. Sligar has been awarded The Christian B. Anfinsen Award for 2020, which recognizes technological achievement or significant methodological advances in the field of protein science. Quoting The Protein Society “Dr. Sligar’s academic career has featured the discovery, development, and use of chemical and biophysical tools to understand fundamental problems in protein biochemistry and biophysics. Of relevance to the Anfinsen Award is his development of nanodiscs, which are patches of lipid membrane stabilized by a ‘belt’ of membrane scaffolding proteins. By using nanodiscs, signaling proteins and macromolecular complexes that rely on a membrane can be readily studied in a native bilayer that is solubilized in an aqueous environment. Dr. Sligar’s commitment to wide dissemination of the nanodisc technology has led to its use by hundreds of laboratories, amplifying the impact of his advances and broadly benefitting the field of protein science.”