The Structure And Function Of Protein Kinase Essay

1494 Words Dec 10th, 2016 6 Pages
The walls in the office of chemist Susan Serota Taylor, Wisconsin, at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), are filled with art and photographs that offer windows into important aspects of her personal and professional life. There are vibrant snapshots that this nature-photography enthusiast took of everything from wild poppies to heirloom tomatoes, along with pictures of family members. Above a bright South American tapestry hangs a framed illustration that could be mistaken for a work of abstract art: It depicts a cluster of red ribbons coiled into cylindrical shapes, loosely connected by red and gold threads and punctuated by white spheres.
Yet this compelling image isn’t mere office décor. It’s a visual model of protein kinase A, or PKA for short, a tiny molecule too small to be viewed by even the world’s most powerful microscopes. Solving and modeling the crystal structure of this important kinase, which helps regulate essential functions in every cell of the body, is Susan’s most significant contribution to chemistry.
Susan’s groundbreaking work on the structure and function of kinases—which has laid the foundation for drug research to ameliorate diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s—has made her one of the most distinguished chemists in America. She has been a professor of chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology at UCSD for nearly 45 years. Among her many accolades, she is an elected member of three national science academies, including the National…

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