Kortemme named Sloan Fellow

UCSF School of Pharmacy scientist Tanja Kortemme, PhD, is a 2005 recipient of the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The fellowship supports young scientists who demonstrate exceptional potential for enlightening science with new knowledge. Recipients are often in their first appointments to university faculties. The fellowship is intensely competitive and selected from a national pool of nominees. The US$45,000, 2-year grant is largely unrestricted in order to provide the most constructive research support.

Kortemme joined the UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor after an international search for a scientist in the emerging area of computational biology.

"Tanja's research is characterized by innovativeness and creativity. In the short time she has been at UCSF, her independent creative potential is already apparent. She has achieved the respect of senior computational colleagues and has been invited to contribute major sections of material for large-scale collaborative proposals in computational proteomics and protein design," says Kathy M. Giacomini, PhD, chair of the department of biopharmaceutical sciences, UCSF School of Pharmacy. "For example, Tanja is applying her primary work in computational protein design of molecular interactions to the design of new chemical reactions. She has been collaborating with scientists on the creation of new enzymes that are capable of degrading, or sensing, biohazardous compounds. The white paper that evolved from this collaboration was founded in substantial aspects on Tanja's contributions. The paper led to an invitation to compete for major funding in this area."

Kortemme was educated at the University of Hannover, Germany where she received her vordiplom in biochemistry, her diplom in biochemistry, and her doctorate in a joint program with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Heidelberg, and then joined the University of Washington where she was a computation associate and then senior fellow.

Kortemme joins Chris Voigt, PhD, assistant professor, department of pharmaceutical chemistry as one of two UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty members to receive a 2005 Sloan Research Fellowship. (See Voigt Named Sloan Fellow.) Both of these awards are in the field of molecular biology.

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Tanja Kortemme, PhD

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.