Prof Raven Prizes/Awards

Prestigious industrial award for Professor Emma Raven

Professor Emma Raven has recently been awarded the award in Inorganic Biochemistry from the Royal Society of Chemistry, sponsored by Kluwer Academic Publishers. She was chosen for the award for her extensive work on enzymes. Her work has a range of potential commercial, therapeutic and biotechnological applications.

Emma graduated with a first class degree in Chemistry from Leicester in 1988. She then moved to the north east to do her PhD with Professor Geoff Sykes, FRS, who was at that time working on a number of metalloproteins and metalloenzymes. This PhD work sparked a long-term interest in inorganic biochemistry, in particular the mechanistic aspects. In 1992, she went to work in Vancouver with Professor A Grant Mauk, who was using protein engineering methods for metalloprotein design.

In 1995, she moved back to Leicester to a lectureship in Chemistry. Her work has concentrated on understanding structure/function relationships in heme-containing enzymes and she has made contributions to the understanding of substrate binding specificity in heme peroxidase enzymes. The work has required a multidisciplinary approach that crosses the traditional boundaries that define the chemical and biological sciences – a philosophy that she first learned as a PhD student. Because of this, she has been fortunate to have collaborated with protein crystallographers (locally), spectroscopists and synthetic chemists, without whom the work would have been much more difficult.

She has held several research fellowships over the past 5 years and is arepresentative for numerous activities relating to promotion of inorganic biochemistry in the UK.

Professor Raven said, on receiving her award, ‘I’m delighted that our work has been recognised in this way, but the award also represents the efforts of many other people who have contributed to our projects in different ways.’

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