On July 9, Scientists Craig Crews and Raymond Deshaies were named the winners of the 25th Jacob and Louise Gabbay Award. Crews and Deshaies were awarded the prize for their work against cancer and other diseases, specifically for the development of PROTACs. PROTACs (PROteolysis-TArgeting Chimeras) are small molecule compounds that “redirect the cellular machinery responsible for protein degradation towards specific disease-causing proteins”
Crews and Deshaies’ research “has expanded the understanding of cellular processes and opened the potential to develop innovative therapies for a broad spectrum of ailments, including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and autoimmune conditions.” The two have been working together since 1998, and first had a paper on PROTACs published in 2001.
Brandeis professor and chair of the Gabbay Award Committee Lizbeth Hedstrom noted that “the Gabbay Award fittingly recognizes their extraordinary impact on the scientific community.”
Crews currently works as the John C. Malone Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry, of Pharmacology and of Management at Yale University, where he also serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery. He also recently founded both Halda Therapeutics and Siduma Therapeutics, and founded Proteolix prior to that.
Deshaies currently works as the Senior Vice President of Global Research at AmGen, a biotechnology company. He is also currently a Visiting Associate at Caltech, and worked at Caltech for 23 years as a professor before that.
The Gabbay award was created “to recognize, as early as possible in their careers, scientists in academia, medicine or industry whose work had outstanding scientific content and significant practical consequences in the biomedical sciences.” Nominations are accepted from certain scientists in both industry and academia with the goal of recognizing underrepresented and new contributions to the sciences.