Anthony Watts wins prestigious BPS award
Professor Anthony Watts is to receive the 2015 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award of the Biophysical Society.
Professor Anthony Watts
The award recognises '..an outstanding investigator who has made a significant contribution to the field of membrane protein research'. It is designed to promote membrane protein studies and recognise excellence in the field.
Over the years, Professor Watts has developed a wide range of innovative approaches to study membrane proteins. His early work adopted a quantitative approach to understanding lipid-protein interactions in membranes using a range of biophysical methods, in particular spectroscopy.
Subsequently, he has developed solid state NMR for biology, applying it as a tool for resolving membrane protein dynamics and ligand binding including drugs and agonists.
At the heart of his research has been a focus on the relationship between structure and function, and the difficult challenge of working with membrane-embedded proteins.
Professor Watts said that it was a huge privilege to be recognised in this way by the Biophysical Society.
He added: 'I still find membrane proteins just as fascinating as when I first handled them in the early 1970s. Although we have come a long way, often through technological advances in spectroscopy and data capture, they still hold mysteries in how they function, not least how the interplay between protein and lipid dynamics contributes to their superb specificity, efficiency and control of cellular processes.'
Professor Watts joins other eminent scientists as recipients of the award including Ron Kaback, Bob Stroud, Tom Rapoport and Carol Robinson in the University's Chemistry Department who won the award in 2013. He was made a Fellow of the US-based Biophysical Society in 2010.