Chemist awarded for enzyme research
A researcher at the University of St Andrews has been awarded a prestigious medal for younger scientists by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Professor James Naismith, of the University’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (CBMS), is to receive the 2004 Corday-Morgan Medal in recognition of his research on enzyme chemistry.
The Corday-Morgan is awarded by the RSC to a UK-based chemist under the age of 38 who has over the last five years ‘published the most meritorious research in chemistry’. It is the premier award for younger UK chemists and Professor Naismith is the only person to win both the Colworth and Corday-Morgan Medals.
The Colworth Medal is awarded by the Biochemical Society for the most promising Biochemist aged 36 or under. Professor Naismith (36) was awarded the 2004 Colworth medal for his outstanding research in the field of ‘superbugs’.
The citation for the Corday-Morgan Medal states that Professor Naismith is ‘distinguished for structural studies of key enzymes and to the understanding of their chemistry and biology’. Professor Naismith’s main research area, a combination of chemistry and biology, is in the development of new antibiotics against so- called superbugs, dangerous infectious diseases such as TB and MRSA. He is one of the heads of a new £6 million lab in St Andrews, the most modern basic research facility in Britain for drug design work.
Professor Naismith joins fellow St Andrews chemists as a recipient of the Corday-Morgan Medal – Professor Russell Morris won it in 2002, while Professor David Cole- Hamilton won the 1983 medal.
The award was announced as Professor Naismith received the further honour of being elected a Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh. At 36 he is amongst the youngest scientists elected to the body known as ‘Scotland’s National Academy’.
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