Bourke Award 2014 Winner


Professor Ann McDermott
Professor Ann McDermott
Columbia University

For insightful and creative applications of magnetic resonance techniques to elucidate the structures and mechanisms of action of proteins and enzymes.

About the Winner


Ann McDermott is the Esther Breslow Professor of Biological Chemistry at Columbia University.She has a B. Sc. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College, and a Ph. D. in Chemistry from U. C. Berkeley, where she worked with Kenneth Sauer and Melvin Klein, and postgraduate training at MIT with Dr. Robert Griffin.

She studies the inherent flexibility of enzymes and the coordination of chemistry to conformational exchange using magnetic resonance methods. NMR spectra of solid state proteins, such as intrinsic membrane proteins in native lipid bilayers, microcrystalline proteins, large native assemblies like viral coats, or amyloid proteins, can be spectrally assigned and serve as the basis for de novo structural determination and dynamics studies. 

These approaches have been used in her group to study ion binding and conformational changes in the potassium ion channel, KcsA, showing that an ion depleted state is off pathway and very similar to the inactivated state of the system. On the basis of this research, she is the recipient of the Pure Award in Chemistry (1996) and the Eastern Analytic Symposium Award for Achievement in Magnetic Resonance (2005), and she is an elected member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. 

Her research group has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Sloan Research Foundation and the Cottrell Research Foundation.


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Columbia University


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