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Paul Schimmel Receives Award from the Biophysical Society

La Jolla, CA. August 11,1999 - Paul R. Schimmel, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been named a recipient of the Biophysical Society's Emily M. Gray Award, for his "significant contributions to teaching and education in biophysics." He shares the award with Charles Cantor, Ph.D., of Sequenom, Inc.

Schimmel's major research interests have concentrated on the decoding of genetic information, with an emphasis on the rules of the universal genetic code, work that has placed him "squarely in the middle of the origin of life question," according to a colleague. His laboratory uncovered an operational RNA code for amino acids which related specific sequences/structures in small RNA oligonucleotides to specific aminoacylations. He and his coworkers were also among the first to establish the modular design of aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. He later showed how this design relates to the operational RNA code and its relationship to the genetic code.

Prior to his appointment to TSRI's faculty in 1997, Schimmel was the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is the author or co-author of many scientific papers

and of a widely used three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry. He was a recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the American Chemical Society's Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, and was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosphical Society. He has been active in many scientific and academic organizations and committees, including service as Chairman of the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society and as an editorial board member of ten different scientific journals. Having a longstanding interest in the applications of basic biomedical research to human health, Schimmel holds several patents and is a co-founder of four biotechnology companies. These companies are developing new therapies for human diseases and disorders. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and holds a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Biophysical Society is a professional, scientific society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. Since its founding in 1956, the Society has grown to nearly 6,000 members located throughout the U.S. and the world. Its members teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies and industry.

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