Susan S. Taylor, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, professor of pharmacology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, San Diego, has been named the recipient of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2010 Excellence in Science Award. The award recognizes women whose outstanding career achievements in biological science have contributed significantly to furthering our understanding of a particular discipline by excellence in research.
“I am honored that Dr. Susan Taylor has been selected to receive the 2010 Excellence in Science Award during my term as FASEB president,” said Mark O. Lively. “Dr. Taylor is an outstanding biochemist and structural biologist whose laboratory has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of cellular regulation by protein phosphorylation. Just as the cAMP-dependent protein kinase that she studies is the prototype of this critically important family of enzymes, Dr. Taylor is an exemplar for the truly meritorious women scientists whose career achievements are celebrated by the Excellence in Science Award.”
Taylor, one of more than 50 women nominated for the prestigious award, will receive an unrestricted research grant of $10,000 sponsored by Eli Lilly and Co. She will also give a talk titled “Dynamics of PKA Signaling” at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, at the 2010 annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
Taylor, who received her Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and her doctorate in physiological chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University, is regarded by many as the world’s foremost expert on cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), the archetype for all the protein kinases and one of the most important regulatory molecules in a cell.
Taylor was first introduced to PKA by a colleague at UCSD, shortly after she started her own lab in 1972 after postdoctoral studies at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England (1969-1970) and UCSD (1971-1972). Taylor’s extraordinary work has led to identification of functional residues important for catalysis and subunit interaction and has provided critical insight related to cAMP binding.