Gabbay Award goes to pioneer in protein folding research

Scripps Research Institute professor Jeffery W. Kelly accepted the award at a ceremony on campus. His work has deepened our understanding of a variety of human diseases.

Jeffery W. Kelly, whose pioneering research has transformed our understanding of protein folding, was awarded the 2016 Jacob and Louise Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine in Biotechnology and Medicine.

Kelly, the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, received a $15,000 cash prize and a medallion at a ceremony on the Brandeis campus. He delivered a lecture entitled, "The Chemistry and Biology of Adapting Proteostasis for Disease Intervention."

Kelly, who is also the Chairman of the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at Scripps, researches the principles of protein folding, which are implicated in a host of human illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Gaucher disease. He has cofounded three biotechnology companies: Folders Pharmaceuticals, now owned by Pfizer, Proteostasis Therapeutics and Misfolding Diagnostics. "Basically what motivates me to come to work every day is to try to understand the mechanisms of diseases, and at a high enough level that we can conceive of a way to correct them and develop drugs that nobody has thought of before," Kelly told the journal "Timothy McSweeney’s" in 2012.

The Gabbay Award was established in 1998 by the Jacob and Louise Gabbay Foundation and is given in recognition of scientists in academia, medicine or industry whose work has outstanding scientific content and significant practical consequences in the biomedical sciences. The Foundation felt that existing scientific awards tended either to honor people who were already well-recognized, or to focus on work that had its primary impact in traditional basic research fields. Yet, the history of science suggests that most scientific revolutions are sparked by advances in practical areas such as instrumentation and techniques.

The award is administered by the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center.

Categories: Research, Science and Technology

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