James Bowie wins prestigious BPS award

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Professor and Vice Chair James Bowie has been named the recipient of the 2017 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award by the Biophysical Society (BPS). 

The award recognizes outstanding investigators who make a significant contribution to the field of membrane protein research. Bowie is being recognized for his impact to the field of protein biochemistry and biophysics and his leadership in the field of membrane protein folding and stability. He will accept the award at the society’s annual meeting in New Orleans in February 2017.

Select past Anatrace Membrane Protein Award recipients include Douglas Rees (Caltech), Carol Robinson (Oxford), Charles Sanders (Vanderbilt), and Tom Rapoport (HHMI/Harvard).

From UCLA Newsroom (by Stuart Wolpert):

James Bowie wins Biophysical Society’s Anatrace Membrane Protein Award

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James Bowie, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award by the Biophysical Society. He will be honored at the society’s annual meeting in February in New Orleans.

Bowie is being recognized for his fundamental research on membrane protein structure and folding. Proteins are remarkably complex molecules with many hundreds of atoms that fold up on themselves to create a single structure. The structure is important because it places chemical groups in just the right place to perform precise chemical reactions or bind to other molecules, creating larger cellular structures.

How these huge molecules manage to find the correct structure is not only a fascinating puzzle, but is also practically important because many diseases are caused by defects in protein folding, Bowie said.

Membrane proteins are a particularly important class of proteins that is responsible for defining which molecules get in or out of the cell, powering the cell and communicating with the environment.

“Indeed the vast majority of drugs on the market target membrane proteins,” Bowie said. “Nevertheless, they present a particularly thorny problem because they have to thread through a complex environment.”

Bowie has pioneered techniques for studying membrane protein folding, provided important insights into the physical forces that drive the process and helped develop practical methods for determining membrane protein structure.

UCLA Newsroom photo by Reed Hutchinson.


To learn more about Bowie’s research, visit his group’s website.