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Professor Sir Alan Fersht FRS FMedSci

Job Title
Emeritus Professor
Department
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Institution
University of Cambridge
Year elected
2007

Interests

Specialities

protein folding, misfolding, disease and cancer

Section committee elected by

Physics, chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, mathematics, informatics and engineering applied to biomedicine

Herchel Smith Professor of Organic Chemistry at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering, Cambridge, Sir Alan is the of the world’s leading protein scientists. He was elected to the Royal Society in his late 30’s in 1983 for his work illuminating enzymic catalysis and how enzymes attain high fidelity in the translation of the genetic code. Subsequently he was one of the pioneering founders of protein engineering, developing it as an analytical procedure for understanding interactions in proteins and enzyme catalysis. This radical new approach unravelled the relationships between the structure, activity and function of proteins. The full power of his methods became apparent in his seminal and far reaching contributions to the field of protein folding and stability. These studies opened the way to development of novel therapies in cancer and other diseases. He currently works on mutations that affect the stability and activity of the tumour suppressor p53 and how mutants may be “rescued” by small molecule drugs. His contributions have been widely recognised nationally and internationally by prizes for both chemistry and molecular biology, and by memberships of foreign academies.

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