(BOSTON) – Wyss Institute Core Faculty member James Collins, Ph.D., will receive the 2015 Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Nakasone Award for his innovative work on synthetic gene networks and programmable cells.
Recognizing former Prime Minister of Japan Nakasone for his vision in launching HFSP in support of international scientific collaboration, the Award honors scientists who have undertaken frontier-moving research in biology. Collins is being honored for his pioneering work on engineering complex gene circuits and cellular devices by assembling well-characterized biomolecular components. His contributions are enabling multiple biomedical applications such as in vivo bio-sensing and are opening up a world of possibilities in fighting disease and infection including reengineering the microbiome and mitigating resistance to antibiotics. He holds the William F. Warren Distinguished Professorship at Boston University, where he is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator as well as the director of the Center of Synthetic Biology. Collins also leads the Anticipatory Medical & Cellular Devices Platform at the Wyss Institute, which builds controllable medical and biomolecular devices to sense, probe and dynamically track the breakdown of natural body rhythms and cellular physiology and function, and intervene to tune gene expression or restore function before life-threatening events occur.
The Nakasone Award was established by the Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO), which is supported by contributions from the G7 nations, together with Switzerland, Australia, India, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Republic of Korea and the European Union. Previous recipients have been Karl Deisseroth (2010), Michael Elowitz (2011), Gina Turrigiano (2012), Stephen Quake (2013), and Uri Alon (2014). With its collaborative research grants and postdoctoral fellowship programs, the organization has approved over 4000 awards involving more than 6600 scientists from all over the world during the 25 years of its existence.
Collins will present the HFSP Nakasone Lecture at the 15th annual meeting of HFSP awardees to be held in La Jolla, California, in July 2015.