Vol 8. Issue 25 / September 8, 2008


Carlos Barbas Wins Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award
Professor Carlos Barbas III has been selected to receive the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, for 2009. The Tetrahedron Young Investigator Awards, created in 2005 by the Executive Board of Editors and the Publisher of Tetrahedron Publications, are presented to individuals under the age of 45 who have exhibited "exceptional creativity and dedication" in their fields.

In his research program, Barbas designs zinc finger protein-based transcription factors for the directed regulation of gene expression and gene discovery; programs complex reaction mechanisms into antibodies and uses them to treat cancer; develops new approaches to catalytic asymmetric synthesis with DNA, proteins, and small molecules (organocatalysis). The fruits of these efforts are new approaches to synthesis and three new classes of drugs that are being studied for the treatments of diseases ranging from cancer and AIDS to diabetes: synthetic antibodies, zinc finger transcription factors, and chemically programmed antibodies.

He will collect the award at the 10th Tetrahedron Symposium in Paris next June.

Ben Cravatt Wins EUREKA Award
Benjamin Cravatt, chair of the Department of Chemical Physiology, has been awarded a new type of National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant "for exceptionally innovative research projects that could have an extraordinarily significant impact on many areas of science." The grant, part of the NIH EUREKA (for Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) program, is designed to help investigators test novel, often unconventional hypotheses or tackle major methodological or technical challenges.

Cravatt studies the action and regulation of chemical messengers, particularly the fatty acid amides, which mediate physiological phenomena like pain sensation, sleep, and thermoregulation; he designs and uses chemical probes for "active site proteomics," the global analysis of protein function. Cravatt's EUREKA project is titled, "Toward a Potent and Selective Inhibitor for Every Mammalian Serine Hydrolase."


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