Alanna Schepartz

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Alanna Schepartz
Born (1962-01-09) January 9, 1962 (age 55)
New York City, New York, United States
Residence New Haven, Connecticut
Nationality American
Fields Chemical Biology
Institutions Yale University
Alma mater State University of New York Albany
Columbia University
California Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisor Ronald Breslow
Other academic advisors Peter Dervan
Known for Creative application of chemical principles to understand and control biological recognition and function
Notable awards Wheland Medal, University of Chicago (2015)
A.C.S. Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry (2012)
Frank H. Westheimer Prize Medal, Harvard University (2008)
Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award, Iota Sigma Pi (2002)
Dylan Hixon '88 Award for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences (1999)

Alanna Schepartz (born January 9, 1962) is an American professor and scientist. She is currently Sterling Professor of Chemistry at Yale University with a joint appointment in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Alanna Schepartz was born on January 9, 1962 in New York City and was raised in Rego Park, Queens. She graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1978. After earned a B.S degree in Chemistry from the State University of New York, Albany and a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University, where she worked under the supervision of Ronald Breslow. Following an N.I.H. postdoctoral fellowship with Peter Dervan at the California Institute of Technology, she joined the faculty at Yale University in July 1988.[2][1][3]

Yale career[edit]

Schepartz joined the faculty at Yale University in July 1988. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992, to Full Professor with tenure in 1995, and was named the Milton Harris, '29 Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry in 2000. In 2001, she was named a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology. From 2002-2007, she held a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professorship. In 2017, she was named a Sterling Professor, Yale's highest honor. Schepartz is the first woman to be granted tenure in Yale's Department of Chemistry, and the first female full Professor in any physical sciences department at Yale.[4][5]

Field of study[edit]

The Schepartz laboratory is known for the creative application of chemical principles to understand and control biological recognition and function. Her research has guided thinking in multiple areas of chemical biology, including the understanding of how specificity is achieved during protein-DNA and protein-protein recognition processes; how to design molecules that function as inhibitors of protein-protein interactions; and the development of β-peptides as protein ligands and as building blocks of protein-like architectures.[1] The development of β-peptide bundles was cited by Chemical and Engineering News, a weekly news magazine of the chemical world, as one of 2007's “most important research advances”.[6]

Schepartz Laboratory[edit]

Schepartz is the Principal Investigator at the Schepartz Laboratory of Chemical Biology. According to the Schepartz Laboratory Website, the laboratory "develops chemical tools to study and manipulate protein–protein and protein–DNA interactions inside the cell. Our approach centers on the design of molecules that nature did not synthesize—miniature proteins, β-peptide foldamers, polyproline hairpins, and proto-fluorescent ligands—and the use of these molecules to answer biological questions that would otherwise be nearly impossible to address. Current topics include the use of miniature proteins to identify the functional role of discrete protein-protein interactions and rewire cellular circuits, the use of cell permeable molecules to image misfolded proteins or protein interactions in live cells, and the design of protein-like assemblies of β-peptides that are entirely devoid of α-amino acids."[7]


In 1990, Schepartz was awarded a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship. In 1991, Schepartz earned an Eli Lilly Biochemistry Fellowship, a Morse Faculty Fellowship from Yale, and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. In 1993 she earned a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and in 1994 received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Schepartz received an A.C.S. Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in 1995 and an A.C.S. Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry in 1997. In 1999 she received the Dylan Hixon ’88 Award for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences and in 2002 she was awarded the Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award. In 2008 she was awarded the Frank H. Westheimer Prize Medal from Harvard University. In 2012 she was awarded the Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry. Throughout her career she has also been invited to be a distinguished guest speaker and lecturer.[2]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Faculty: Alanna Schepartz". Yale Department of Chemistry. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  4. ^ "Alanna Schepartz named Harris Professor". Yale Bulletin and Calendar. April 28, 2000. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  5. ^ [1]>
  6. ^ "Alanna Schepartz To Deliver First Chemical Biology Lecture". YaleNews. December 11, 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  7. ^ "Schepartz Laboratory of Chemical Biology". Retrieved 2012-08-12. 

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