Prof. Carolyn Bertozzi

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Hans Bloemendal Medal

The Hans Bloemendal Medal for 2013 is awarded to Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, in recognition of her groundbreaking studies spanning the disciplines of chemistry and biology.

Carolyn Bertozzi is an internationally well-respected expert in glycans, and one of the pioneering scientists in the area of chemical biology. Her lab focuses on profiling changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with disease, and exploiting this information for development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In a landmark paper in PNAS (2007) she developed copper-free click chemistry for dynamic imaging and then went on to further develop the technique forin vivoimaging of glycosylation in zebrafish (Science, 2008) and in mice (PNAS, 2010). This innovative approach uses bio-orthogonal laboratory-developed reagents that do not react with the normal molecules in the body, and thus do not interfere with the sugars' ability to carry out their normal signaling functions. Her work suggests that this technique could potentially be used to attach tracers to diseased cells. In addition to the diagnosis and treatment of disease, the techniques developed by Bertozzi also are being used in her laboratory to construct biocompatible materials, such as artificial bone and cartilage, with applications in medicine and in materials science. These findings hold great promise for the future of medicine and personalized healthcare.

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Carolyn Bertozzi's enthusiasm for her research is matched by her talent for communicating science. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. Including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, dubbed the 'Oscar for inventors', she has nearly 50 accolades to her name.

In summary, Carolyn Bertozzi is a world leader in glycobiology and chemical biology research. She has published more than 450 papers, which have been cited nearly than 20,000 times (current H-index 70). Her enthusiasm for science and intelligent approach to research is remarkable. We hope that Prof. Bertozzi feels honored by adding the Hans Bloemendal Medal from the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences (NCMLS) to her impressive list of achievements and awards.

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About Hans Bloemendal

Hans Bloemendal has made significant contributions to the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology throughout his illustrious career and as a prominent scientist at the forefront of research on lens proteins He was the first to provide a new insight into the complex behaviour of lens proteins, demonstrating that crystallin heterogeneity was due to a combination of multimeric associations of different crystallin polypeptides. From 1965 to 1988, he was full professor of Biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen, at both the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine. His research group was the first to isolate translatable mRNAs coding for crystallin proteins, in a time when messenger RNA isolation was still in its infancy. Once again as a pioneer, he turned to the primary structure of crystallin polypeptides, cDNA and gene cloning. His cell biology studies not only included the spatial distribution of crystallins in the lens, lens cell culture, viral transformation of lens epithelial cells, lens aging and cataract, but also beautiful work on the cytoskeleton and plasma membrane in the lens. His love and devotion to molecular life sciences is illustrated by the fact that, at his age he is still active in the field: he is a distinguished example and role model for young students and scientists alike. Next to his scientific career, Hans Bloemendal was active in many other areas. The most important of these is of course his singing. Already for more than half a century he has been the first cantor at the most important synagogue in Amsterdam. His ritual Jewish songs have been recorded many times.

Next to his scientific career, Hans Bloemendal was active in many other areas. The most important of these is of course his singing. Already for more than half a century he has been the first cantor at the most important synagogue in Amsterdam. His ritual Jewish songs have been recorded many times.

The Hans Bloemendal lecture award has been bestowed on a number of very prominent scientists active in many different research fields. A full list of previous winners can be found via this link.