Eleven distinguished scientists and exceptional early career researchers have been honoured in the Biochemical Society’s annual Awards.
The Awards recognize scientists for the excellence of their work and the profound impact their research has had on the scientific community and wider society. They also highlight outstanding work by early career researchers.
Professor Anne Dell, Chair of the Awards Committee, said: “The Biochemical Society’s Awards recognize scientists at all career stages, across the full spectrum of the molecular biosciences. The Award lectures in 2016 will showcase the outstanding contributions that the winners have made.”
The 2016 AstraZeneca Award will be awarded to Dame Carol Robinson from the University of Oxford. Carol is a UK-based biochemist whose research has made a very significant contribution to the development of mass-spectrometry techniques for the analysis of biologically important complexes.
The Keilin Memorial Lecture in 2016 will be given by Michael Murphy (MRC MBU, Cambridge, UK) for his contribution to research in basic and applied bioenergetics. Michael has produced influential discoveries in the last 20 years showing the detailed mechanisms of mitochondrial oxidant production and has pioneered translational redox bioenergetics. Michael Murphy gave his award lecture at the 79th Harden Conference: Oxygen Evolution and Reduction – Common Principles, Grauer Bär, Innsbruck, Austria, 16—20 April 2016.
The 2016 Colworth Medal will be awarded to David Grainger (University of Birmingham) for his research relating to the control of bacterial gene expression by factors that act on a genome-wide scale. David is a molecular microbiologist who has made an internationally recognized contribution to the understanding of the control of bacterial gene transcription and chromosome organisation. David has played a major part in establishing the field in which he now excels. David’s high productivity has not come from mining a previously well-established seam, but instead has come from his innovative scientific imagination and a willingness to pursue new techniques and ideas. David Grainger received his medal at the 80th Harden Conference: Machines on Genes IV on 31 July—4 August 2016 at Shrigley Hall Hotel, Macclesfield, UK.
The 2016 GlaxoSmithKline Award will be made to Charles Swanton, of Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute, for his work on cancer heterogeneity which has had a huge impact in the field with far reaching and important implications to future approaches to cancer therapy. Charles presented his GlaxoSmithKline award lecture on 17 November 2016 at Charles Darwin House, London , UK.
The 2016 Centenary Award will be made to Patrick Cramer from Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany. The award is made in recognition of Patrick’s successful systems biology approach to uncovering the importance of and mechanisms in transcriptome surveillance and RNA degradation in the balanced production of mRNAs. Furthermore, two important crystal structures were published in 2013. Patrick Cramer received his award at the 80th Harden Conference: Machines on Genes IV – Mechanisms of Actions of Large Macromolecular Machines on Genes Across Biological Scales at Shrigley Hall Hotel, Macclesfield, UK, 31 July—4 August 2016.
The Morton Lecture in 2016 will be given by John Harwood, from Cardiff University. John Harwood has had a long career at the forefront of research into lipid biochemistry. John’s original contributions to lipid biochemistry are many and varied; he has worked in both animal and plant lipid biochemistry, and made important contributions to both. His research has covered all levels of lipid biochemistry, from genes to medical products. John presented his lecture in Cardiff on 10 November 2016.
The 2016 Novartis Medal and Prize will be awarded to David Tollervey (University of Edinburgh) in recognition of the influence he has had on the field of RNA Biology worldwide. Amongst David’s many contributions, two themes are particularly noteworthy. Firstly, his work on the ribosome biogenesis which has been instrumental in identifying and characterising many of the factors involved in the synthesis, processing, assembly and maturation of the subunits which has led to a detailed understanding of the multiple-step pathways involved. Secondly, his ground-breaking work on RNA degradation complexes including the exosome. David Tollervey was awarded the Novartis Medal and Prize at the 81st Harden Conference: RNA and Disease, Norton Park Hotel, Winchester, UK, 4 – 7 September 2016.
The Biological Systems Early Career Research Award for 2016 will be made to Anne-Marie Krachler of the University of Birmingham. Anne-Marie is an outstanding young researcher who has a passion for discovery, a determination to provide robust, ground-breaking data and an unquenchable enthusiasm to train the next generation scientists demonstrated through her pioneering the “IMI Summer School”, a week-long training scheme for sixth formers that has received overwhelming acclaim and is now heavily oversubscribed. Anne-Marie presented her Early Career Research Award lecture at the University of Birmingham, UK on 28 April 2016.
The Cells Early Career Research Award for 2016 will be made to Bungo Akiyoshi of the University of Oxford. As well as elucidating mechanisms with clear relevance to cancer and organismal homeostasis, Bungo employs trypanosomes as a model system, and his identification of a novel, trypanosome-specific apparatus of chromosome segregation will allow the future development of drugs that may combat parasitic diseases such as African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in humans, or leishmanaiasis and nagana in livestock animals. Bungo Akiyoshi was presented with his Early Career Research Award at the Cilia, Cytoskeleton and Cancer on 25-26 April 2016 at IGMM, Edinburgh, UK.
The Computational Biology Early Career Research Award for 2016 will be made to Joseph Marsh of MRC HGU, University of Edinburgh for his work in producing an outstanding body of research, addressing diverse aspects of protein structure, dynamics, assembly and evolution using a variety of computational methods, often in combination with experimental data. Joseph presented his award lecture at the Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK on 8 November 2016.
The Molecular Structure and Function Early Career Research Award for 2016 will be made to Anthony Roberts of Birkbeck, University of London for his work in producing research of the highest international standard focused on the structure and mechanism of cellular motor proteins.