Andreas (PhD '14), a "NMR ace advancing methods for analyzing proteins", is an alumnus of Professor Robert Guy Griffin's research group.
Department of Chemistry alumnus Loren Andreas (PhD ’14), a graduate of Professor Robert Guy Griffin‘s research group, has been named one of Chemical & Engineering News’ ‘Talented 12 – Class of 2019’. Sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific, this honor, now in its fifth year, recognizes young stars in the chemical sciences.
While at MIT, using solid-state NMR, Andreas was able to solve the structure of part of influenza A’s M2 protein, a proton channel that goes through the virus’s envelope, or outer coat.
That work upended assumptions about the structure of M2. Previously, researchers thought the protein was a tetramer with fourfold symmetry, but it turned out to be a dimer of dimers. The findings have implications both for the mechanism of proton transport and for the binding site of inhibitors, which could be used to fight the flu. Andreas’ work “has opened what’s going to be an enormous field of research for NMR and for structural biology,” says Griffin. “He’s really opened a door for the rest of us to enter.”
Currently an Emmy Noether Fellow and Junior Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, Andreas’ induction into this year’s Talented 12 was announced at the recent meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, California, where a symposium was held in honor of the newest class, which also included Frank Leibfarth, a former postdoctoral fellow in Professor Tim Jamison‘s research group and current Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lauren Zarzar, a former postdoctoral associate in Professor Tim Swager‘s research group and current Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Using a rigorous review process, C&EN staff, Talented 12 alumni and members of the global chemistry community selected this year’s Talented 12 from a highly competitive pool of more than 500 nominees. The group includes chemists tackling what C&EN calls “some of the world’s most daunting problems.” Their research spans an array of impactful topics, from tracking pollutants in the Arctic to unravelling the chemistry and biology of human breastmilk.
“We are proud to present this year’s Talented 12 class here in San Diego,” says Bibiana Campos Seijo, Ph.D., editor-in-chief and vice president of C&EN Media Group. “This annual list of innovators features our most diverse science yet and is comprised of a group of young pioneers who are determined to change the world. As some of the brightest and most influential minds in the chemical sciences, there is no doubt they will shake up our field. The future is bright. Prepare to be inspired.”
“We are especially proud to partner with the ACS and C&EN on the Talented 12 initiative,” says Chris Armstrong, president, Laboratory Chemicals, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Our organizations share a commitment to help the next generation of scientific talent bring chemistry to life. Together we will bring awareness to how innovations in chemistry are making a difference in the world, and we’re excited to follow these young chemists as their careers develop.”