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By Ariana Tantilloshare:

Subramanyam Swaminathan Named Senior Scientist Emeritus

Subramanyam Swaminathan

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Subramanyam Swaminathan

On the basis of his contributions to Brookhaven Lab's Biology Department, Subramanyam Swaminathan was granted emeritus status upon his July 2017 retirement.

Swaminathan first came to Brookhaven in 1981 as a guest research collaborator in the Chemistry Department. The year before, he joined the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Crystallography as a research associate, and in 1988 advanced to research assistant professor. In 1991, he became a consultant for the Protein Data Bank that originated at Brookhaven in 1971. After working on a Botulinum neurotoxin project at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Swaminathan returned to Brookhaven in 1995 as a guest scientist. In 1997, he was hired as a scientist in the Biology Department, with promotions to tenured biophysicist in 2003 and senior biophysicist in 2010. Since 2005, he has been an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University, where he is also a member of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery.

Swaminathan is internationally regarded for his contributions in structural biology and expertise in Botulinum neurotoxin structural biology. His research has focused on understanding the structure-function relationship in macromolecules through x-ray crystallography at Brookhaven's former National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) and NSLS-II. Swaminathan served as principal investigator of Brookhaven's Structural Genomics Initiative, partnering with institutions in the New York Structural Genomics Research Consortium to determine the 3-D structures of proteins. He was also part of a collaborative team that solved the 3-D structure of a key protein on the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

In a letter congratulating Swaminathan, Lab Director Doon Gibbs said, "Your group has determined more than 400 protein structures, and it has made great progress in Botulinum neurotoxin structures and functions, leading to new insights that pave the way for new strategies to protect or mitigate against the deadly effects of exposure to these toxins."

"I started out as a structural biologist, and through my tenure at Brookhaven, I applied my expertise in a structure-based drug discovery program that was part of a counterterrorism project funded by the Departments of Energy and Defense," said Swaminathan. "I am proud of my contributions to this major program of national interest, succeeding to some extent in developing inhibitors to counter a deadly toxin. In this period, I interacted with many eminent scientists in the Biology Department and around the world—interactions I look forward to continuing as an emeritus scientist."

Meet 12 other scientists who have received emeritus status

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