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The Protein Society, the premiere international society dedicated to supporting protein research, has selected David Baker as this year’s Hans Neurath Award winner. The annual award recognizes “a recent contribution of unusual merit to basic protein science.”

The Society writes that Baker’s breakthroughs “reduce to practice what was for many decades the holy grail of protein science: fundamental understanding of the determinants of protein structure and stability that leads to consistent predictive capabilities, including the ability to design protein shapes and functions as desired.”

Baker is director of the Institute for Protein Design at UW Medicine, professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Baker is the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry.

The Hans Neurath Award, sponsored by The Hans Neurath Foundation, seeks to honor individuals who have made a recent contribution of exceptional merit to basic protein research. Hans Neurath played an integral role in the early life of the Protein Society, both as a founding member as founding editor of Protein Science.

Neurath (1909-2002) was a leader in the study of protein chemistry and the founding chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine.