Gierasch named Biophysical Society fellow

Lila M. Gierasch, Distinguished Professor in biochemistry and molecular biology as well as chemistry, has been named a fellow of the Biophysical Society for 2014 in recognition of her “pioneering contributions to the understanding of the physical forces underlying protein folding.”

In announcing the honor, Francisco Bezanilla, president of the society, said that Gierasch and the seven other new fellows are “distinguished members who have demonstrated excellence in science and contributed to the expansions of the field of biophysics.”

He will present the award to Gierasch during a ceremony at the President’s Reception Dinner on Feb. 17 during the society’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

Gierasch’s research focus is protein folding in cells. That is, how amino acid sequence determines the three-dimensional structure of a protein. “We are using both ‘top down’ approaches by developing methods to observe a folding chain in cells and to perturb the cellular environment through genetic manipulation or environmental influences, and ‘bottom up’ approaches, wherein we mimic the components of the cell and examine their influence on folding,” says Gierasch.