The NMR View of Proteins

Kurt Wüthrich

Keywords: Protein structures, Proteins in body fluids, Structural biology, Drug development

DOI: 10.17160/josha.2.7.84

Nobel Prize laureate Kurt Wüthrich is the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Professor of Structural Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA, and Professor of Biophysics at the ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. He also directs research groups at the Universidad Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and at the iHuman Institute of ShanghaiTech University in China. His research interests are in molecular structural biology and structural genomics. His specialty is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with biological macromolecules, where he contributed the NMR method of three-dimensional structure determination of proteins and nucleic acids in solution. The Wüthrich groups have determined a large number of macromolecular NMR structures, including the immunosuppression system cyclophilin A–cyclosporin A, the homeodomain–operator DNA transcriptional regulatory system, and prion proteins from humans, cattle and a variety of other species. Kurt Wüthrich was born in Switzerland on October 4, 1938, is married to Marianne Briner, and has two children, Bernhard Andrew and Karin Lynn. He studied chemistry, physics and mathematics at the University of Bern from 1957–62. He then moved to the University of Basel , where he obtained the “Eidgenössisches Turn- und Sportlehrerdiplom” and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry (Prof. Silvio Fallab) in 1964. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Basel (Prof. S. Fallab) and at the University of California in Berkeley, CA, USA (Prof. R.E. Connick), and a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, USA (Biophysics Department, Dr. R.G. Shulman). In 1969 he joined the ETH Zürich (Privatdozent 1970, Assistant Professor 1972, Associate Professor 1976, Professor of Biophysics 1980, Chairman of the Department of Biology 1995–2000). Since 2001 he shares his time between the ETH Zürich and The Scripps Research Institute. Kurt Wüthrich’s achievements have been recognized by the Prix Louis Jeantet de Médecine, the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and by other awards and honorary degrees.

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