Ionis Virtual Lecture Featuring Professor Wilfred van der Donk
November 4 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Professor Wilfred van der Donk of the University of Illinois is the featured speaker for the 2021 Ionis Virtual Lecturer. The presentation is titled “Biosynthesis and Engineering of Macrocyclic Peptides.”
Register for the lecture: https://ucihealth.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C89nsXf_ROa294I6QPkCMQ.
The Ionis Pharmaceuticals Lectures in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCI were established in 2007 through the generosity of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Carlsbad, CA, USA. This series of lectures features distinguished scientists who have made pioneering contributions to organic, bio-organic or medicinal chemistry. For more information about Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc., please visit www.ionispharm.com.
Wilfred A. van der Donk was born in the Netherlands and moved to the USA in 1989 to pursue his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Rice University. After postdoctoral work at MIT with JoAnne Stubbe, he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997, where he currently holds the Richard E. Heckert Chair in Chemistry. Since 2008, he is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Research in his laboratory focuses on using organic chemistry and molecular biology to gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of enzyme catalysis. His laboratory has demonstrated that deep knowledge of the chemistry catalyzed by enzymes can be used to engineer the structures of natural products, to mine genomes for novel compounds with improved or new activities, and to develop enzymes for industrial use. He has been a pioneer in the rapidly growing area of ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptide (RiPP) natural products and in the biosynthesis of naturally occurring phosphonates. Over the years, his group has discovered fundamentally new pathways to natural products and unanticipated biochemical reactions.
He has co-authored more than 300 publications and has received a number of awards, including a Beckman Young Investigator Award (1999), a Cottrell Scholar award of the Research Corporation (2000), the Pfizer Award in enzyme chemistry (2004), an ACS Cope Scholar Award (2006), a Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2007), the Jeremy Knowles Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2010), the Emil Thomas Kaiser Award of the Protein Society (2013), the Repligen Award (2017), a MERIT award from NIGMS (2016), the Vincent du Vigneaud Award of the American Peptide Society (2017), the Harrison Howe award (2020), and the Pedler award of the RSC (2020). He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Academy of Microbiology, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.