Ronald T. Raines

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Ronald T. Raines
Born August 13, 1958
Montclair, New Jersey
Nationality USA
Fields Chemical Biology
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisor Jeremy R. Knowles
Known for Research on collagen, ribonucleases, protein chemistry, and biofuels
Notable awards

Helen Hay Whitney Fellow
Searle Scholar Award
Presidential Young Investigator Award
Shaw Scientist Award
Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, ACS
Guggenheim Fellow
AAAS Fellow
Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, ACS
Emil Thomas Kaiser Award
Royal Society of Chemistry Fellow
Rao Makineni Lectureship
Welch Lectureship
Repligen Corporation Award in Chemistry of Biological Processes ACS

Jeremy Knowles Award, RSC

Ronald T. Raines is an American chemical biologist. He is the Henry Lardy Professor of Biochemistry, Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Biology, and a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Raines graduated in 1976 from West Essex High School in North Caldwell, New Jersey. He received Sc.B. degrees in chemistry and biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, doing undergraduate research with Christopher T. Walsh. He earned A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry at Harvard University with Jeremy R. Knowles, the title of his doctoral thesis being Energetics of Enzymatic Catalysis: Triosephosphate Isomerase. He was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow[1] in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco with William J. Rutter. He joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1989, and was a Visiting Associate in Chemistry at Caltech in 2009.


Raines has made the following noteworthy contributions.

  • Revelation of the basis for the conformational stability of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in animals.[2] This work led to the discovery of a new chemical force—the nπ* interaction—that contributes to the stability of nearly every protein. Such hyperstable collagens are in preclinical trials as wound-healing agents.
  • Discovery of how to endow an otherwise innocuous human RNA-cleaving enzyme with toxicity that is specific for cancer cells.[3] Such a ribonuclease is in a human clinical trial as an anti-cancer agent.
  • Mechanistic Insight on cellular redox homeostasis[4] and on imperatives for the uptake of cationic proteins and peptides by mammalian cells.[5]
  • Invention of efficient chemical processes to synthesize proteins[6] and to convert crude biomass into useful fuels and chemicals, and fluorogenic probes to image the uptake of molecules into living cells.[7]

Raines is a founder of Quintessence Biosciences, Inc.[8] and Hyrax Energy, Inc.,[9] and he serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals ACS Chemical Biology; Peptide Science; Protein Engineering, Design & Selection; and Protein Science; and on the scientific advisory board of the Keystone Symposia.[10]


  1. ^ Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellows
  2. ^ Shoulders, M. D.; Raines, R. T. (2009). "Collagen structure and stability". Annu. Rev. Biochem. 78: 929–958. doi:10.1146/annurev.biochem.77.032207.120833. PMC 2846778. PMID 19344236. 
  3. ^ Leland, P. A.; Raines, R. T. (2001). "Cancer chemotherapy – Ribonucleases to the rescue". Chem. Biol. 8 (5): 405–413. doi:10.1016/S1074-5521(01)00030-8. 
  4. ^ Kersteen, E. A.; Raines, R. T. (2003). "Catalysis of protein folding by protein disulfide isomerase and small-molecule mimics". Antioxid. Redox Signal. 5 (4): 413–424. doi:10.1089/152308603768295159. 
  5. ^ Fuchs, S. M.; Raines, R. T. (2006). "Internalization of cationic peptides: The road less (or more?) traveled". Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 63 (16): 1819–1822. doi:10.1007/s00018-006-6170-z. PMC 2812862. PMID 16909213. 
  6. ^ Nilsson, B. L.; Soellner, M. B.; Raines, R. T. (2005). "Chemical synthesis of proteins". Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struct. 34: 91–118. doi:10.1146/annurev.biophys.34.040204.144700. PMC 2845543. PMID 15869385. 
  7. ^ Lavis, L. D.; Raines, R. T. (2008). "Bright ideas for chemical biology". ACS Chem. Biol. 3 (3): 142–155. doi:10.1021/cb700248m. PMC 2802578. PMID 18355003. 
  8. ^ Quintessence Biosciences
  9. ^ Hyrax Energy
  10. ^ Scientific Advisory Board of the Keystone Symposia

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