Biopolymers Murray Goodman Memorial Prize Symposium

by | Jun 9, 2018

William F. DeGrado receives the Murray Goodman Memorial Prize at the ACS Spring National meeting 2018.
William F. DeGrado receives the Murray Goodman Memorial Prize at the ACS Spring National meeting 2018

The symposium held in honour of the 2017 Biopolymers Murray Goodman Memorial Prize winner, Professor William F. DeGrado, took place as part of the Division of Biological Chemistry (BIOL) programme at the 2018 ACS Spring meeting in New Orleans, U.S.A.

The Prize was awarded to Bill for his seminal contributions to the de novo design of peptides, proteins and pharmaceutically-active small molecules; and of course, colleagues past and present were more than happy to participate in the celebratory symposium.  The afternoon’s stellar line-up consisted of David Mortenson (The Scripps Research Institute) – Inverse drug discovery; Danica G. Fujimori (University of California, San Francisco) – Domain cross-talk in epigenetic regulation; Hubert Yin University of Colorado Boulder) – Small molecule immunomodulators that target toll-like receptors; Natalia Jura (University of California, San Francisco) – Molecular mechanisms for atypical functions of protein kinases; and Ivan V. Korendovych (Syracuse University) – Minimalist design of peptide and protein catalysts.

Bill brought a stupendous symposium to a close with his award lecture entitled De novo protein design.

Bill obtained a BA in chemistry at Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.  He went on to work at DuPont Merck for many years before taking up a position at the University of Pennsylvania.  In 2011 he moved to University of California, San Francisco, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and an Investigator in the Cardiovascular Research Institute.  His group looks at small molecule and protein structure and function in order to gain insight into biological processes relevant to human disease, and to develop novel therapeutics.

The Murray Goodman Memorial Prize is presented in honour of the Founding Editor of Biopolymers.  The award recognises outstanding accomplishments in one or more of the areas of biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, biophysics or chemical biology.  Previous winners include Jennifer A. Doudna, Joan A. Steitz, Steven G. Boxer and Laura L. Kiessling.  Nomimations for the 2018 prize are now open; more information can be found on the Biopolymers website.

Congratulations to Bill on a well-deserved award!

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