2013 ISCB Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award

David Eisenberg

UCLA-DOE Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

website: http://www.doe-mbi.ucla.edu/people/eisenberg

Presentation Title: Protein Interactions in Health and Disease

Presentation Time: Tuesday, July 23, 4:35 PM - 5:35 PM

 Room: Hall 1


To aid research on proteins and metabolism, we have set up several databases and servers, all available at www.doe-mbi.ucla.edu.  One is the Database of Interacting Proteins (DIP), a curated collection of experiments on protein interactions.  Another is ProLinks, a collection of functional linkages between proteins in many organisms, inferred from whole genome sequences.  A third is ZipperDB, a database containing predictions of fibril-forming proteins identified by the 3D Profile Method.

ZipperDB has enabled our efforts to determine more than 100 atomic structures of the ‚Äėsteric zipper‚Äô spines of amyloid fibers.¬† These fibers are associated with dozens of fatal diseases, as well as numerous evolved protein functions.¬† Knowledge of these atomic structures has permitted the design of inhibitors of formation of fibers involved in Alzheimer‚Äôs Disease, HIV, and cancer.



As a Harvard undergraduate, David Eisenberg had the good fortune to be assigned to study with John T. Edsall, one of the pioneers of protein chemistry, who oriented him to his life’s work.  As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Eisenberg earned a D.Phil. in theoretical chemistry for study with Charles Coulson on hydrogen bonding in ice. Returning to the States, Eisenberg worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Walter Kauzmann, the discoverer of the hydrophobic interaction.  Together they wrote a monograph, The Structure and Properties of Water, still in print after 44 years.  In further postdoctoral study at Caltech, Eisenberg learned X-ray crystallography.  Since 1969, Eisenberg has been on the faculty of UCLA, now as the Paul D. Boyer Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Co-Director of the Center for Global Mentoring.  Eisenberg now concentrates on proteins in the amyloid state.   He has coauthored a text Physical Chemistry for Students of the Life Sciences, as well as some 350 research papers and reviews, with over 50,000 Google Scholar citations.