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Seyedsayamdost Earns Young Investigator Award

Awards- - By The Department of Chemistry
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Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost, associate professor of chemistry, was one of seven scientists to receive a 2020 Protein Society Award from the Protein Society, a leading international association dedicated to the advancement of research on proteins. Seyedsayamdost won the Young Investigator Award for his pioneering work on novel biochemical pathways.

Mo Seyedsayamdost, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Mohammad “Mo” Seyedsayamdost, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Photo by C. Todd Reichart

The Young Investigator Award recognizes a scientist within the first eight years of an independent career who has made an important contribution to the study of proteins. The award will be conferred in Sapporo, Japan at the 34th Annual World Conference on Protein Science 2020, which will be held in July.

Seyedsayamdost’s use of a creative combination of bioinformatics and chemical genetics to activate cryptic biosynthetic pathways in microbial systems and determine their products drove the decision. “The approach has led him to discover the vast – and previously overlooked – biosynthetic potential of many bacteria and to determine the effects that bacterially produced molecules have on other microbes,” according to the Society.

“Pathways that he has discovered produce previously unknown natural products using reactions catalyzed by hitherto uncharacterized proteins. (Seyedsayamdost’s) insights are already having a substantial impact on protein science, as these pathways include novel transformations catalyzed by newly discovered metalloenzymes.”

Previous winners of the Young Investigator Award include Gabriel Lander; Brandon Ruotolo; David Pagliarini; Benjamin Garcia; and Nieng Yan. The Award is sponsored by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Founded in 1986 and based in California, The Protein Society is devoted to furthering research and development among investigators in protein structure, function, design, and applications. Society members represent a wide spectrum of academic, industry, governmental, and non-profit institutions from more than 40 countries around the world.