Prestigious medal for biochemist

Monday 25 August 2003

A scientist from the University of St Andrews is to be awarded a prestigious prize for outstanding research in the field of ‘superbugs’.

Professor James H Naismith, a structural biologist at the University’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (BMS) will be awarded the 2004 Colworth Medal by The Biochemical Society. The Biochemical Society is the leading UK body in the field of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and has over 7000 members. The Colworth Medal is awarded annually for outstanding research in any field of biochemistry to a person under the age of 35.

Professor Naismith’s main research area is in the development of new antibiotics against diseases such as TB.

In their announcement the Biochemical Society said:

“Professor Naismith has been responsible for a remarkable series of papers on carbohydrate- metabolising enzymes. Using structural biology, enzymology and biochemistry he has provided valuable insights into their catalytic mechanisms.”

On hearing the announcement, Professor Naismith said:

“I am delighted to receive this very prestigious award. Scientific research is a team effort, the people who work with me in my lab did the experiments, they deserve the praise. My team is fortunate to work in the world class research labs in the Centre for Biomolecular Science alongside so many leaders in their fields.”

Professor Naismith will receive £2000 and a medal and as part of his award he will be invited to give a keynote lecture at a meeting of the Biochemical Society and at Unilever Research Laboratories.

Professor Naismith is the first winner from the University of St. Andrews. Born and raised in Hamilton, Scotland, he studied at Edinburgh and Manchester Universities. He came to St. Andrews in 1995 from Dallas, Texas and lives locally with his wife and two young children.

Last year he won a Philip Leverhulme Trust Prize in molecular biology for his ‘major contribution to structural chemistry’. He has also won the Carbohydrate Chemistry Prize in 2000. Professor Naismith is one of 15 principal investigators in the University’s flagship Centre for Biomolecular Science.




Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected] Ref: Naismith Colworth Medal pr 260803 View the latest University news at

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