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Young Investigator Award

The 2002 IAPSAP/MPSA Young Investigator Award, supported by Applied Biosystems, Inc. has been awarded to Dr. Dorothee Kern, Department of Biochemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA.

Dr. Kern has just initiated studies on the dynamic processes that trigger protein function. While the number of high-resolution structures is growing exponentially, knowledge about molecular mechanisms lags far behind, and this gap is rapidly growing in the era of structural genomics. Dr. Kern’s long-term goal is to understand the role of dynamics for enzyme catalysis, ligand binding and signaling events. Her work examines enzyme catalysis in a nonclassical way by characterizing the motions of enzymes in action using dynamic NMR spectroscopy.

Her first results indicate profound collective motions during catalysis that are correlated to the chemical steps of substrate interconversion. Ultimately, Dr. Kern’s work will lead to a detailed understanding of the time-dependent atomic events in enzyme catalysis. Knowledge of the biophysical principles of protein dynamics is expected to have a large impact on rational drug design, an area that is still primarily based on static structures.

For more information on Dr. Kern’s research, visit her web page at: http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/faculty01/kern.html

IAPSAP created the Young Investigator Award in 2000 to recognize promising new investigators who are beginning to advance the fields of protein chemistry, protein structure analysis, or proteomics. The first award was given to Dr. Kristian Müller, Institut für Biologie, Universität Freiburg, Germany, for work on generating and linking immunoglobulins binding domains. At the time Dr. Müller was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. The 2002 Young Investigator award was presented to Dr. Kern at MPSA2002 in Valencia, Spain.

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Last Modified: February 1, 2008