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Agouron Inasttite

  column space. 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 in 1985.

Last updated Mon 09 Apr 07.