A Searle Scholar, a Beckman Young Investigator and a recipient of the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, Wang pioneered a method to accommodate additional amino acids, the molecular building blocks of all proteins, into proteins produced by bacteria. Since then, he developed innovative strategies to expand the natural repertoire of amino acids for building proteins in mammalian cells, including neurons and stem cells. Using these new amino acids, his group has found new signaling mechanisms for ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors, which may guide the development of therapeutics for depression and neurological diseases. The synthetic biomolecules being built by Wang's lab also hold promise for making proteins drugs with biological functions far beyond what is possible with proteins that include only naturally occurring amino acids.
"We are proud of all that Reuben and Lei have accomplished as researchers at the Salk Institute and look forward to many more cutting edge contributions impacting human health," added Brody. "Congratulations to both of them on achieving this impressive milestone in their careers."
About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.
Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.Media Contacts:Kat Kearney firstname.lastname@example.org 619.296.8455 This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit http://www.newswise.com. SOURCE Salk Institute for Biological Studies