"Many of the recent breakthroughs in drug discovery and design and new treatments for life-threatening diseases are based on the techniques developed by this year's award recipients. Their work has led to a better understanding of the inner working of cells, helped determine protein structures and functions involved in the development of diseases such as cancer and malaria, and revolutionized the early phase of pharmaceutical research. I'm especially pleased that the international aspect of the Nobel Prize is complemented by the fact that two of this year's winners, John Fenn of the United States and Kurt Wüthrich of Switzerland, are among the global membership of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society."
Nina McClelland, chair of the American Chemical Society's Board of Directors, also is president of McClelland Consulting Services, a Michigan-based management, chemical and environmental consulting company. ACS is the world's largest scientific society, with 163,000 member chemists and chemical engineers.
Scientists can't understand the inner workings of the cell if they can't "see" inside. Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), the work areas of this year's Nobel laureates, enable chemists to identify and understand the large protein molecules that form the basis of life in every living organism.
MS allows scientists to weigh molecules and identify them by their mass, giving answers to questions such as "what?" and "how much?" NMR answers the question "what does it look like?" by providing a three-dimensional picture of a molecule's structure. This combined information leads to a clearer knowledge of how proteins function in the cell, leading to breakthroughs in drug discovery and the diagnosis and treatment of dangerous diseases such as mad cow disease, cancer and malaria.
Articles are available from Chemical & Engineering News that may provide useful background information. Two articles about the role of analytical techniques in proteomics research appeared in the April 8, 2002, and April 2, 2001, editions of C&EN and can be accessed on the Web at:
Two articles about NMR analysis of proteins appeared in the July 15, 2002, and Aug. 10, 1998, editions of C&EN and can be accessed on the Web at:
Experts in mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance
|Mostafa El-Sayed||Editor of Journal of Physical Chemistry||404-894-0293 or 404-894-0292|
|Catherine Fenselau||University of Maryland||301-405-8616 or 301-405-8614
|Royce W. Murray||University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Editor of Analytical Chemistry||919-962-2541|
|Gerald Saltzer||NSF Biology division||703-292-8470|
|Ad Bax||National Institutes of Health||301-496-2848|
|David Muddiman||Mayo Clinic||507-284-2425 or 507-284-1997|
Please call the ACS News Service at 202-872-4451, or the above contacts for information.