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Peter Schultz

Peter G. Schultz (born June 23, 1956 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is currently the Scripps Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute and Director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF).

Schultz’s work spans the interface of chemistry, biology and materials science, and includes: the discovery of catalytic antibodies and their use to study fundamental mechanisms of biological catalysis and the evolution of binding and catalytic function, the development of technology that enables the systematic expansion of the genetic codes of living organisms to include unnatural amino acids, and the application of combinatorial methods to a large array of problems in chemistry, biology, and materials science.

Schultz graduated summa cum laude from Caltech in 1979 and continued there for his doctoral degree (in 1984) with Professor Peter Dervan. His thesis work focused on the generation and characterization of 1,1-diazenes and the generation of sequence-selective polypyrrole DNA binding/cleaving molecules. He then spent a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Professor Christopher Walsh before joining the chemistry faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. He became a Principal Investigator of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1985 and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1994. In 1999 Schultz moved to The Scripps Research Institute and also became Director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (which is currently some 500 people). He has trained over 300 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are on the faculties of major research universities.

Schultz has received numerous awards including the NSF Alan T. Waterman Award (1988), the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1990), the UC Berkeley College of Chemistry Teaching Award (1992), the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1994), the ACS Alfred Bader Award in Bioorganic Chemistry (2000), the Paul Erhlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Award (2002), and the ACS Arthur C. Cope Award (2006). Professor Schultz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (1993), the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (1998), and many editorial and scientific advisory boards. He is a founder of Affymax Research Institute, Symyx Technologies, Syrrx, Kalypsys, Phenomix, Ilypsa, Ambrx and Wildcat Technologies, pioneers in the application of high throughput technologies to chemistry, biology and medicine.

Schultz’s research uses the tools and principles of chemistry in combination with the processes of living cells to create molecules with novel properties and functions. By studying the structure and function of the resulting molecules, new insights can be gained into the molecular mechanisms of complex biological and chemical systems. Early in his career Schultz showed that the natural molecular diversity of the immune system could be exploited to generate catalytic antibodies- work that has led to a large array of selective enzyme-like catalysts for reactions ranging from acyl transfer and redox reactions to pericyclic and metallation reactions. This work has also provided new insights into the evolution of natural binding energy and catalytic formation, including the role of structural plasticity in the immune response. Schultz then extended this notion of molecular diversity to a range of problems in chemistry, biology and materials science. For example, he has shown that one can identify materials with novel optical, electronic, and catalytic properties using combinatorial materials libraries; he has used combinatorial methods to identify small molecules that control embryonic and adult stem cell differentiation and self-renewal, and that induce reprogramming of lineage committed cells; and he has used genomic libraries to identify novel proteins involved in normal and disease processes, including aging, oncogenesis and autoimmunity. Schultz has also pioneered a method that allows one to add new building blocks, beyond the common twenty amino acids, to the genetic codes of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes in response to unique three and four base codons. Over thirty unnatural amino acids have been genetically encoded in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells including glycosylated, photoreactive, chemically reactive, fluorescent, and metal binding amino acids. This technology may make possible the generation of proteins, or even organisms with novel or enhanced properties, beyond those possible with a twenty amino acid code.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Peter_Schultz". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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