Dr. Neal K. Devaraj
University of California, San Diego
This year’s recipient is Dr. Neal K. Devaraj at the University of California, San Diego. Professor Devaraj is recognized for groundbreaking contributions to the field of bioorthogonal chemistry and advances in understanding the origins of cellular life.
Neal K. Devaraj is a Professor and Murray Goodman Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). A major research thrust of his lab is developing chemical reactions for understanding the transition between nonliving and living matter. Along these lines, his research group has developed approaches for the in-situ synthesis of synthetic cell membranes by using bioconjugation reactions to “stitch” together lipid fragments. This work has enabled the demonstration of self-reproducing lipid vesicles and artificial membranes that can remodel their chemical structure. Recently, his lab has developed bioconjugation techniques to synthesize lipid species within living cells, enabling studies that decipher how lipid structure affects cellular function.
For his scientific contributions, Professor Devaraj has been recognized with several awards including the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry, Blavatnik National Award in Chemistry, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, The Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Natural Sciences, and the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award.
Dr. Neal Devaraj will receive the award during the 264th American Chemical Society Meeting in the Fall 2023. He will be presented the award during an evening reception in honor of all PMSE and POLY award recipients during the ACS meeting.
For additional information, read the ACS Axial interview Dr. Devaraj.