DeGrado Wins International Award for Protein Research

William DeGrado, PhD, conducts research at his UCSF lab while a colleague looks on. Photo by Elisabeth Fall

A UC San Francisco researcher has won a prestigious award from the Protein Society, an international organization dedicated to supporting protein research.

William DeGrado, PhD, a professor in the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, won the Stein and Moore Award, which is given to leaders in protein science who have made sustained, high impact research contributions to the field.

William DeGrado, PhD

“It is exciting to me, because it represents recognition from respected peers in my own area of research. It’s an honor to have been selected,” he said. “UCSF’s Peter Walter, PhD, has also received this award, although there are many others here who are highly qualified. I am sure we will see other faculty members receive the Stein and Moore in the future.”

DeGrado’s research – spanning decades – focuses on small molecule and protein design as an approach to understanding macromolecule structure and function. He learned that proteins can be rationally designed in a staged modular manner based on simple chemical and conformational principles, and that both de novo and biologically-inspired functional elements can also be installed.

His work has also taught us the pitfalls in rational design, and has provided a battery of biophysical and biochemical methods that can be powerfully applied to validate and understand the structure of these designs. His pioneering work has shown that simple chemical principles can be rationally applied to highly complex systems to both understand them and create new materials and potential therapeutics.

The Stein and Moore Award is named for Nobel laureates Dr. William Stein and Dr. Stanford Moore. DeGrado will receive his award at the 29th Annual Symposium of The Protein Society on July 22-25, 2015 at Barcelona, Spain.

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