PittPharmacy_DonnaHuryn_002Donna Huryn, PhD is the recipient of the 2015 American Chemical Society Philadelphia Section Award from The American Chemical Society (ACS). The award recognizes individuals “who, by conspicuous scientific achievement through research, has made important contributions to man’s knowledge and thereby aided the public appreciation of the profession. Photo on right: Deborah Cook, Chair-Elect, Donna Huryn, and Rick Ewing, Chair of the Phila ACS Section. (Photo by Joel Perlish)

ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. A nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress, ACS is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers and related professions around the globe.

Huryn, together with Peter Wipf, PhD, professor in the pharmaceutical sciences department, recently co-authored a paper entitled “2.3 Å resolution cryo-EM structure of human p97 and mechanism of allosteric inhibition” in Science. This study was important on two fronts. One, a technical aspect, is that it highlights that it is possible to use an imaging technique called cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to view, in atomic detail, the binding of a small molecule inhibitor to an enzyme, called p97, that has the potential to be a novel anti-cancer target. Further impact of this work is in the area of drug discovery. The knowledge of how the small molecule, developed at the University of Pittsburgh Chemical Diversity Center, binds and inhibits p97 has the potential to enable the development of new and better anti-cancer agents. The study was done as part of the NCI Chemical Biology Consortium through collaboration of scientists at Pitt who are members of the University of Pittsburgh Chemical Diversity Center, the NCI, the University of California San Francisco, Leidos and Caltech.

Huryn is a research professor in the pharmaceutical sciences department at PittPharmacy.


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