Ronald Raines, the Henry Lardy Professor of Biochemistry, earned two national awards over the holiday. He was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and also received the Vincent du Vigneaud Award from the American Peptide Society (APS).
“These awards are a tribute to the dedication of my students and postdocs,” says Raines, who is also a professor of chemistry. “Without them I could do little. It’s great to bring these honors back to the university.”
The NAI named 175 fellows from across the country for 2016. Fellows are nominated by their peers for “outstanding contribution to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation,” according to the academy’s press release.
Raines holds 51 issued U.S. patents and is a founder of Quintessence Bioscience and Hyrax Energy. He has discovered that unappreciated forces stabilize all proteins, as well as created forms of stable synthetic collagen. He has also done work with anti-cancer agents and biofuels.
Many of his patents reply on peptides for their success, and this is his second award from APS — his first being the Rao Makineni Lectureship Award in 2007. Vincent du Vigneaud, the namesake of the award he recently earned, was a famous peptide chemist who earned a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1955 for, among other achievements, the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone.
He is the third winner of the Vincent du Vigneaud Award from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Samuel Gellman of the Department of Chemistry and Daniel Rich of the School of Pharmacy have previously won the award. “I am proud to continue the tradition of having a strong showing from UW–Madison,” Raines says.