|| The Agouron Institute was
founded in 1978 by Drs. John Abelson, Mel Simon, and Joseph Kraut
of the University of California, San Diego. The non-profit research
organization funds innovative research in biology and chemistry. Since
its inception, marine technology and environmental microbiology have
been important research directions for the Institute. The Institute
has devoted considerable effort to predicting and understanding protein
structure and engineering. The Agouron Foundation endowment stems
from its founding of Agouron Pharmaceuticals, a for-profit pharmaceutical
designer. Among other successes, Agouorn Pharmaceuticals developed
and marketed the HIV protease inhibitor Viarcept; the company was
sold in 1999 to Warner Lambert. The Agouron Institute has maintained
its interest in environmental microbiology through continued investment
in basic and applied research and education, including in the emerging
field of Microbial Oceanography.
Mel Simon holds the Anne P. and Benjamin F. Biaggini Professor
of Biological Sciences at California Institute of Technology. His
research focuses on chemotaxis, the study of how organisms sense
their environment and respond to chemical cues. In addition, his
laboratory has provided ground breaking contributions the study
of protein signal transduction. Simon is a member of the American
Academy of Arts ad Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
He received the Waksman Award in Microbiology from the National
Academy of Sciences in 1991.
John Abelson is the George Beadle emeritus Professor of Biology
at the California Institute of Technology. His research into gene
expression and transcriptional activity provided a basis for understanding
how genomic DNA is transcribed to mRNA and tRNA. His work into the
enzymatic processes that cleave and splice nucleic acids proved
seminal in our understanding of the transformation of genetic information
into functional proteins. Abelson was elected to both the National
Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Last updated Mon 09 Apr 07.