David R. Liu, Harvard University, to Receive the 2020 ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Award - ACS Axial | ACS Publications
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David R. Liu, Harvard University, to Receive the 2020 ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Award

Every year, ACS Chemical Biology and the ACS Division of Biological Chemistry selects a distinguished and well-respected researcher for the ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Award. Winners of this honor include: Alanna Schepartz (2010), Stuart Schreiber (2011), Carolyn Bertozzi (2012), Wilfred van der Donk (2013), Peter Dervan (2014), Kevan Shokat (2015), Peter G. Schultz (2016), Benjamin F. Cravatt (2017), James A. Wells (2018), and Chuan He (2019). This year, the journal and division will present this award to David R. Liu, Ph.D.

Liu is the Director of the Merkin Institute and Vice-Chair of Faculty at the Broad Institute. Additionally, he is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. His accomplishments are vast. In 2006, he was awarded the American Chemical Society Award for Pure Chemistry. Fellow recipients of this honor include Carolyn R. Bertozzi (2001) and Stuart L. Schrieber (1989). In 2017, he was named to Nature’s 10 top researchers in the world. In 2019, he delivered a TEDtalk at the main TED Conference. This year, in addition to receiving the ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Award, he will also receive the BIOT Division David Perlman Memorial Lecture Award. Past recipients of the David Perlman Lectureship include 2018 Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold (2003).

Liu graduated first in his class at Harvard in 1994 with a B.A. in chemistry. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. That same year, he joined Harvard University as an assistant professor at just 26, rising to full professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2005. Liu has published over 180 papers and is the recipient of more than 70 issues U.S. patents. His research integrates chemistry and evolution to illuminate biology and enable next-generation therapeutics. Prime editing, base editing, PACE, and DNA-templated synthesis are four examples of technologies pioneered in his laboratory.

Liu’s Publications from ACS Chemical Biology include: 

Editing the Genome Without Double-Stranded DNA Breaks

Potent Delivery of Functional Proteins into Mammalian Cells in Vitro and in Vivo Using a Supercharged Protein

Enzymatic Tailoring of Enterobactin Alters Membrane Partitioning and Iron Acquisition

Join ACS Chemical Biology and the ACS Division of Biological Chemistry at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, where David R. Liu will be presented with the Lectureship Award. He will deliver the keynote address for the symposium chaired by Laura L. Kiessling, Editor-in-Chief, on Tuesday, March 24, from 1:00 pm – 4:00 P.M. A meet-the-speaker reception will take place immediately following Dr. Liu’s talk. We look forward to seeing you at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District, Franklin/Jefferson!

Scheduled speakers for the ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Symposium include:

Introductory Remarks
Laura L. Kiessling

From narrow to broad spectrum: Using bacteria’s own biology against them
Ian Seiple

Chemistry behind paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis
Alison R. Narayan

Chemical biology of the anti-cancer STING pathway
Lingyin Li

Synthetic activators, inhibitors, and degraders of CRISPR-associated nucleases
Amit Choudhary

Introduction of Awardee:
Base editing and prime editing: Chemistry on the genome without double-strand breaks
David R. Liu

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