Professors Laura L. Kiessling and Ronald T. Raines to Join the Department

Danielle Randall
December 9, 2016

Laura L. Kiessling, currently the Steenbock Professor of Chemistry and Laurens Anderson Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ronald T. Raines, currently the Henry Lardy Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will join the faculty of the MIT Department of Chemistry on July 1, 2017. 

Professor Kiessling earned a S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Yale University.  After two years at the California Institute of Technology as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, she joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1991.  Laura is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and  and a Member of the American Academy of Microbiology, National Academy of Sciences, and Wisconsin Academy of the Arts and Sciences. She has served as editor–in-chief of ACS Chemical Biology since 2005 and is also a member of the Board of Scientific Governors of The Scripps Research Institute, as well as a Kavli Lecturer (2015).  Her recent honors and awards include the Alexander M. Cruickshank Award (2015), the Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry (2014), the University of Zurich’s Albert Hofmann Award (2014), the Murray S. Goodman Memorial Prize (2013), the Claude S. Hudson Award (2013), the James W. Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award (2011) and an ACS Fellowship (2010).  Professor Kiessling’s interdisciplinary research interests focus on elucidating and exploiting the mechanisms of cell surface recognition processes, especially those involving protein-glycan interactions. Another major research interest is multivalency and its role in recognition, signal transduction, and direction of cell fate.

Professor Raines received S.B. degrees in chemistry and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, doing undergraduate research with Christopher T. Walsh. He earned A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Harvard University with Jeremy R. Knowles. After completing a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1989, and was a Visiting Associate in Chemistry at Caltech in 2009. His honors include the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award (2016), the Humboldt Research Award (2015), the Jeremy Knowles Award (2013), the Repligen Award (2010), the Emil Thomas Kaiser Award (2005), and the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2004), in addition to numerous Lectureships. Ron serves on the Editorial Boards for Protein Science and Protein Engineering, Design, and Selection. The research projects in the Raines laboratory are designed to reveal how biological phenomena can be explained with the principles of chemistry. The hypotheses are far-reaching, and testing them requires the use of techniques and ideas from diverse disciplines.