Ronald T. Raines

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Ronald T. Raines
Born August 13, 1958 (1958-08-13) (age 58)
Montclair, New Jersey
Nationality United States
Fields Chemical Biology
Institutions University of Wisconsin–Madison
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
[[Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science |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
Humboldt Research Award
Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry, ACS
Member, National Academy of Inventors

Vincent du Vigneaud Award

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 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.[1] This work led to the discovery that unappreciated chemical forces—the n→π* interaction and C5 hydrogen bond—contribute 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.[2] Such a ribonuclease is in a human clinical trial as an anti-cancer agent.
  • Mechanistic Insight on cellular redox homeostasis[3] and on imperatives for the uptake of cationic proteins and peptides by mammalian cells.[4]
  • Invention of efficient chemical processes to synthesize proteins[5] and to convert crude biomass into useful fuels and chemicals, and fluorogenic probes to image the uptake of molecules into living cells.[6]

Raines is a founder of Quintessence Biosciences, Inc.[7] and Hyrax Energy, Inc.,[8] and he serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals ACS Chemical Biology; Bioconjugate Chemistry; Peptide Science; Protein Engineering, Design & Selection; and Scientific Advisory Board of the Keystone Symposia.[9]


  1. ^ Shoulders, M. D.; Raines, R. T. (2009). "Collagen structure and stability". Annu. Rev. Biochem. 78: 929–958. PMC 2846778Freely accessible. PMID 19344236. doi:10.1146/annurev.biochem.77.032207.120833. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ 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. PMC 2812862Freely accessible. PMID 16909213. doi:10.1007/s00018-006-6170-z. 
  5. ^ Nilsson, B. L.; Soellner, M. B.; Raines, R. T. (2005). "Chemical synthesis of proteins". Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struct. 34: 91–118. PMC 2845543Freely accessible. PMID 15869385. doi:10.1146/annurev.biophys.34.040204.144700. 
  6. ^ Lavis, L. D.; Raines, R. T. (2008). "Bright ideas for chemical biology". ACS Chem. Biol. 3 (3): 142–155. PMC 2802578Freely accessible. PMID 18355003. doi:10.1021/cb700248m. 
  7. ^ Quintessence Biosciences
  8. ^ Hyrax Energy
  9. ^ [1]

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