The Protein Science Young Investigator Award, named for the academic journal of the Society, Recognizes a scientist generally within the first 8 years of an independent career who has made an important contribution to the study of proteins. The 2016 winner is Dr. Benjamin Garcia (University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine). Dr. Garcia has been developing analytical and computational tools to understand the combinatorial complexity of simultaneously occurring histone modifications, identifying thousands of uniquely modified histone H3 forms, the significance of which is the focus of current research interest (e.g. combinatorial Histone Code). He also been involved in development of advanced mass spectrometry instrumental approaches using electron transfer dissociation and data-independent acquisition to increase the accuracy and precision for protein and proteome characterization. The Garcia lab has been developing and applying novel mass spectrometry based proteomic approaches for interrogating protein post-translational modifications (PTMs), especially those involved in epigenetic mechanisms such as histones, publishing over 170 publications. Dr. Garcia earned his Ph.D. in 2005 at the University of Virginia under the direction of Professor Don Hunt.
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