Structural biologist Brenda Schulman, Ph.D., honored by international scientific group for work in protein science


Brenda Schulman, PhD

Memphis, Tennessee, May 24, 2011


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientist recognized with the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award from The Protein Society

Brenda Schulman, Ph.D., of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a joint winner of The Protein Society’s 2011 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award. The award recognizes exceptional contributions in protein science, which profoundly influence the understanding of biology.

Schulman is a member of the St. Jude Structural Biology and Tumor Cell Biology departments, co-director of the hospital’s Molecular Oncology Program and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

She received the award today in Stockholm at the IX European Symposium of The Protein Society, the leading international society devoted to furthering research and development in protein science.

“Dr. Schulman is a distinguished voice and international leader in the structural biology field,” said Dr. William E. Evans, the hospital’s director and CEO. “Her drive and momentum are resolute, and the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award is further evidence of the impact her research is making worldwide.”

Schulman studies a family of enzymes known as ubiquitin-like proteins that play key roles in regulating cell division. Cancers are among the diseases that arise when the cell cycle is disrupted. According to The Protein Society, Schulman received the award for her fundamental and pioneering contributions to the understanding of the ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like systems through structural, biophysical and biochemical insights. Studies by her laboratory have led the way worldwide in the structural and functional understanding of catalysis and regulation by ubiquitin-like enzymes.

Schulman has been named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, earned a Beckman Young Investigator Award and received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor that a young scientist or engineer can receive in the United States. She joined St. Jude in 2001.

Wei Yang, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is the other winner of the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Ranked one of the best pediatric cancer hospitals in the country, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world, serving as a trusted resource for physicians and researchers. St. Jude has developed research protocols that helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened to almost 80 percent today. St. Jude is the national coordinating center for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. In addition to pediatric cancer research, St. Jude is also a leader in sickle cell disease research and is a globally prominent research center for influenza.

Founded in 1962 by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world, publishing more research articles than any other pediatric cancer research center in the United States. St. Jude treats more than 5,700 patients each year and is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. St. Jude is financially supported by thousands of individual donors, organizations and corporations without which the hospital’s work would not be possible.

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