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John Kuriyan

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John Kuriyan
John Kuriyan in 2015, portrait via the Royal Society
Alma mater
Scientific career
InstitutionsVanderbilt University School of Medicine
ThesisThe structure and flexibility of myoglobin : molecular dynamics and x-ray crystallography (1986)
Doctoral advisor

John Kuriyan is the dean of basic sciences and a professor of biochemistry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He was formerly the Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the departments of molecular and cell biology (MCB) and chemistry, a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab's physical biosciences division, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences[1] and he has also been on the Life Sciences jury for the Infosys Prize in 2009, 2019 and 2020.[3]



Kuriyan received his B.S. in chemistry from Juniata College in Pennsylvania, followed by his PhD in physical chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology supervised by Gregory Petsko and Martin Karplus.[4]

Research and career


Kuriyan did postdoctoral research work for one year supervised by Karplus at Harvard before becoming an assistant professor at the Rockefeller University. As of 2015 Kuriyan's laboratory studies the structure and mechanism of enzymes and other proteins that transduce cellular signals and perform DNA replication. The laboratory primarily uses x-ray crystallography to determine 3-D protein structures as well as biochemical, biophysical, and computational techniques to uncover the mechanisms used by these proteins.

Awards and honors

John Kuriyan

In 1989, Kuriyan was named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, and was the recipient of the 2005 Loundsbery Award by the National Academy of Sciences, .[5] He has also received the Cornelius Rhoads Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (1999),[6] the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (1998), the Dupont-Merck Award of the Protein Society (1997), and the Schering-Plough Award of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1994). In 2009 he received the ASBMB Merck award for his contributions to structural biology. Kuriyan was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2015.[2] He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2018.[7]


  • The molecules of life: physical and chemical principles with Konforti, Boyana; Wemmer, David (2013)[8]
  • Mechanisms of RAS activation at the membrane (2006)[9]


  • Crystallographic R factor refinement by molecular dynamics[10]
  • Structural mechanism for STI-571 inhibition of abelson tyrosine kinase[11]
  • Multiple BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations confer polyclonal resistance to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib (STI571) in chronic phase and blast crisis chronic myeloid leukemia
  • The conformational plasticity of protein kinases
  • An allosteric mechanism for activation of the kinase domain of epidermal growth factor receptor


  1. ^ a b "John Kuriyan". www.nasonline.org.
  2. ^ a b "John Kuriyan - Royal Society". royalsociety.org.
  3. ^ "Infosys Prize - Jury 2020". www.infosys-science-foundation.com. Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  4. ^ Kuriyan, John (1986). The structure and flexibility of myoglobin: molecular dynamics and x-ray crystallography (Thesis). OCLC 15862419.
  5. ^ "Richard Lounsbery Award". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  6. ^ Journal of the National Cancer Institute: JNCI. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health. May 1999. p. 830.
  7. ^ "National Academy of Medicine Elects 85 New Members". National Academy of Medicine. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  8. ^ Kuriyan, John; Konforti, Boyana; Wemmer, David (2013). The molecules of life: physical and chemical principles. ISBN 978-0-8153-4188-8. OCLC 779577263.
  9. ^ Kuriyan, John; Harvard University; Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (2006), Mechanisms of RAS activation at the membrane, OCLC 232369650
  10. ^ Brünger, Axel T.; Kuriyan, John; Karplus, Martin (1987-01-23). "Crystallographic R Factor Refinement by Molecular Dynamics". Science. 235 (4787): 458–460. Bibcode:1987Sci...235..458B. doi:10.1126/science.235.4787.458. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17810339. S2CID 38261757.
  11. ^ Schindler, T.; Bornmann, W.; Pellicena, P.; Miller, W. T.; Clarkson, B.; Kuriyan, J. (2000-09-15). "Structural mechanism for STI-571 inhibition of abelson tyrosine kinase". Science. 289 (5486): 1938–1942. Bibcode:2000Sci...289.1938S. doi:10.1126/science.289.5486.1938. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 10988075.