Prizes recognise talents of two Biochemistry researchers
Excellence at both the senior and junior level has been recognised by two recent prizes to researchers in the department.
Professor Anthony Watts is a Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Prize winner for 2015. Daniel Yin, a third-year Biochemistry graduate, has received the Peter Beaconsfield Prize from Oxford University's Medical Sciences Division.
Tony Watts' award recognises his work at the interface between chemistry and other disciplines. His extensive work on proteins and lipids in model and natural membranes has used a huge range of biophysical, structural and molecular biology methods and techniques. Potential applications of the research include helping to deliver drugs more effectively.
Professor Anthony Watts
Since the 1990s, Tony has pioneered new high-resolution solid state NMR techniques for the study of biomolecular systems aimed at resolving sub-Å structural and dynamic details of ligand- and drug-receptor interactions in the absence of other structural information.
The Royal Society of Chemistry gives out over 60 prizes and awards, recognising achievements of individuals, teams and organisations in all areas of the chemical sciences. More details of the Interdisciplinary awards can be found on the Society's website.
Daniel, a student in Professor Watts' lab, won MSD's Peter Beaconsfield Prize with his essay: 'The Fight against the Fight against the Fight against Bacteria'. In it, he describes his work on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and efforts to develop them as drug candidates - in particular, to tune their selectivity to kill bacterial but not host cells, and to deliver the AMP once inside the body to the site of infection.
The competition is open to postgraduate students in DPAG, Pathology, Biochemistry or Experimental Psychology who have applied for transfer to DPhil status within the previous 12 months. The prize recognises individuals who have gone beyond their narrow field of specialisation and, by presenting their work in a translational context, have demonstrated a wider grasp of its significance and potential applicability.