Yale’s Crews awarded prestigious Heinrich Wieland Prize

Craig Crews
Craig Crews

Yale’s Craig Crews has been awarded the international Heinrich Wieland Prize for his discovery of new methods to target disease-causing proteins, the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation announced Oct. 14.

Crews, the John C. Malone Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and professor of chemistry, pharmacology, and management, will be awarded 100,000 euros for his discovery.

Crews developed a way to use the cell’s own protein degradation machinery to destroy targeted proteins by tagging them for removal. The system, called Proteolysis Targeting Chimeras or PROTACs, is being developed by his New Haven biotechnology company, Arvinas.

By developing PROTACs, Craig M. Crews has created a completely new and fundamental concept for controlling the amount of any protein within a cell. This opens up great opportunities for many laboratories around the world, ranging from basic research of fundamental processes in cells to drug development,” said F.-Ulrich Hartl, director of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and chair of the panel of independent scientists that selects the prize winners.

The international Heinrich Wieland Prize honors distinguished scientists for their outstanding research on biologically active molecules, as well as their clinical importance and systems, in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, and physiology. The prize is endowed with 100,000 euros by the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation and named after Heinrich Wieland (1877-1957), Nobel laureate in chemistry in 1927.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation — the donor of the prize — is an independent, nonprofit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences.

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