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University’s Distinguished Scientist Award, 2010

don_huntThree pre-eminent University of Virginia faculty researchers – Alan F. “Rick” Horwitz (Cell Biology), Donald R. Hunt (Chemistry) and Timothy D. Wilson (Psychology)– have been chosen to receive the University’s 2010 Distinguished Scientist Awards.

Donald Hunt is being recognized for his pioneering efforts to develop methods and instrumentation that set the standard for ultrasensitive detection and characterization of proteins and peptides in biological samples.

These contributions underpin proteomics, the field of research that studies proteins in the cells of the human body. The research has had a dramatic impact on studies in immunology, cell signaling, stem cell biology and the development of vaccines and treatments that stimulate the immune system to both fight and prevent cancer.

During a career spanning more than 40 years, Hunt is widely recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to the fields of mass spectrometry, a powerful analytical technique that is used to identify unknown compounds, to quantify known materials, and to elucidate the structure and chemical properties of protein molecules in cells, which play critical roles in determining the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.

Hunt is co-inventor on more than 25 patents and patent applications, has more than 350 scholarly publications to his credit, and ranks among the top 130 most highly cited chemists in the world. At U.Va., he has mentored more than 85 doctoral and postdoctoral students and taught organic chemistry to more than 14,000 premedical students.

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