The MRF Discovery Award recognized P. Andrew Karplus, Ph.D., whose contributions to biomedical research include landmark discoveries about the structure-function relationship of a diverse array of proteins, many of which are important to the understanding of problems in human health and agriculture.
Guided by the view that we can better understand what we can see, Dr. Karplus has focused his career on determining the three-dimensional structures of proteins, which he then weaves together with chemical and evolutionary considerations to determine how proteins carry out their functions.
He has made a number of seminal contributions to his field. A landmark discovery was the 2003 “floodgate signaling” hypothesis he developed with Leslie Poole, Ph.D., that certain peroxide-degrading enzymes known as peroxiredoxins serve as switches that control cell signaling. This hypothesis has strongly influenced research on aging, cancer and obesity-related diseases.
Dr. Karplus was Assistant and then Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology at Cornell University. He was a visiting professor at Oregon State University in the mid 1990s before joining the faculty full-time as an Associate Professor and then Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. He served as department chair from 2007-2010.