2019 Tilden Prize Winner


Professor James Naismith

Professor James Naismith

The Rosalind Franklin Institute & University of Oxford

 

Awarded for career-long breakthroughs in structural and chemical dissection of natural product biosynthesis.

 


About the Winner


Jim Naismith was born in 1968 studied Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 1989, inspired by Steve Chapman he sought to apply a chemical training to biological problems. As a Carnegie Scholar he moved to Manchester University to study with Bill Hunter, Dave Garner and John Helliwell earning a PhD in 1992. Following a two year NATO fellowship in the lab of Steve Sprang at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre he returned to the UK and a lectureship in Chemistry at St Andrews starting 1 Jan 1995. Over the next twenty two years he worked at St Andrews with a talented and changing group of students, technicians and post-docs on the structure and function of proteins that make natural products. He was promoted to Reader in 1999, Professor in 2001 becoming the Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Chemical biology in 2014 and graduating with a DSc in 2016. In 2017 he moved to head the Research Complex at Harwell and a chair at Oxford; he is now the Director of the new Rosalind Franklin Institute. Research highlights have included the complete description of the biosynthesis of dTDP-L-rhamnose, the enzymes of the patellamide biosynthetic cluster, halogenating enzymes, the first alpha helical outer membrane protein (that transports sugars across the membrane), amide methylating enzyme and the basis for mechanosensing in bacteria. The research by his co-workers has been recognised by multiple awards (Knowles, Corday-Morgan, Dextra, Colworth) and election to fellowships (FRSE, FMedSci, FRS).


Related Links

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The Rosalind Franklin Institute & University of Oxford


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