2015 Distinguished Researcher Award: Steven Van Doren
Steven Van Doren joined the University of Missouri in 1995. He has published 56 journal articles and is a National Institutes of Health grant review panel member. He won the Sigma Xi Excellence in Graduate Research Mentoring Award in 2006 and the American Cancer Society Research Scholar award in 2003. His laboratory investigates molecular workings of enzymes (and their partners) underlying lung disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and innate immunity.
"One of the main thrusts of Steve's research is to provide an atomic level description of the structure, dynamics and function of matrix metalloproteases," said Patrick Loria, professor of chemistry, Yale University. "The dynamic aspect is crucial because it has become clear that the time-averaged three-dimensional structure of enzymes only provides part of the information necessary to decipher the physico-chemical properties of these biological molecules. Dynamics is an essential component that must be understood. The only technique that provides the necessary dynamic information is nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, in which Steve is an expert."
I have the pleasure of interacting with Steve's graduate students. Those interactions tell me that Steve is a wonderful mentor. His students are always eager to present their work and demonstrate a level of understanding for their projects that directly reflects their mentor's commitment to teaching and training.
Amy Andreotti, professor, Iowa State University
"Steven has also pioneered the use of paramagnetic relaxation enhancement to study the structure and interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with membrane bilayers," said Gianluigi Veglia, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, University of Minnesota. "His recent paper in Nature Communications is spectacular. I anticipate this work will have a strong impact not only in the structural biology community but also in the field of general biophysics, as many proteins interact transiently with the surfaces of membranes."