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Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Frank M. Raushel's nearly 35-year-research career has resulted in new insights into the fundamental principles of enzyme catalysis and biological chemistry -- efforts that will be recognized this week in Fort Worth with the American Chemical Society's 2014 Southwest Regional Award. (Credit: Ethel Mejia, Texas A&M Chemistry)

COLLEGE STATION --

Dr. Frank M. Raushel, distinguished professor of chemistry and a Davidson Professor of Science at Texas A&M University, has been recognized with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Southwest Regional Award for his extensive research and career achievement in enzyme catalysis and biological chemistry.

Established in 1948, the annual award honors ACS Southwest Region members who have "made meritorious contributions to the advancement of chemistry, chemical engineering, chemical education -- either pure or applied -- or to the profession in general."

Raushel will be presented with the award, which includes a $2,000 cash prize and a commemorative plaque, at the 70th Southwest Regional Meeting, to be held Nov. 19-22 in Fort Worth and hosted by the Dallas-Fort Worth Local Section. He is one of four repients who will be honored during the 2014 SWRM Awards Luncheon, set for Friday (Nov. 21) from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

A member of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty since 1980, Raushel holds joint faculty appointments in biochemistry and biophysics as well as in toxicology. He is a fellow of both the ACS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Raushel's internationally recognized research focuses on enzyme-catalyzed chemistry and protein structure -- specifically, a better understanding of both areas in order to develop complex molecular frameworks capable of exploiting the unique properties of enzyme-active sites for a variety of chemical and medicinal uses.

During his nearly 35-year career at Texas A&M, Raushel has made seminal contributions to the field of enzymology and helped to further our understanding of these processes in biological systems. Among other innovations, his group pioneered the use of the bacterial phosphotriesterase (PTE) as a model system for the activation of water by binuclear metal centers and as a template for the rational redesign of an enzyme active site for the stereoselective hydrolysis of chiral organophosphate nerve agents.

"I view Frank as one of our most rigorous and insightful researchers whose work has shed light on the mechanisms of many important enzymatic reactions," said Dr. François P. Gabbaï, head of the Department of Chemistry and holder of the A.E. Martell Endowed Chair. "The far-reaching impact of his research is illustrated by his work on PTE, which has not only explained how nature functions but also inspired many synthetic inorganic chemists working on enzyme mimics."

Raushel earned his doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin in 1976 and completed postdoctoral training in biophysics at Pennsylvania State University prior to coming to Texas A&M. He was appointed a Davidson Professor of Science in 2004 and as a distinguished professor of chemistry in 2010.

Raushel's many honors include the ACS Repligen Award (2009), a Texas A&M University Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Research (2000) and a National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award. Equally lauded for service to his profession, specifically within the ACS community, Raushel has served as ACS secretary and as a member of both the executive committee for the Division of Biological Chemistry and the editorial advisory board for the international journal Biochemistry.

Raushel was nominated for the prestigious award by the local Texas A&M/ACS section, headed by Dr. Jean-Philippe Pellois, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M who also holds a joint faculty appointment in chemistry.

To learn more about Raushel's research, go to http://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/raushel/.

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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents annual expenditures of more than $820 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.

About the American Chemical Society: The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. For more information, go to http://www.acs.org/.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Frank M. Raushel, (979) 845-3373 or raushel@chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Frank M. Raushel

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