Leonidas Zervas Award 2024

The Leonidas Zervas Award is presented in commemoration of his outstanding contributions to peptide science. The award is given to the scientist who has made the most outstanding contributions to the chemistry, biochemistry and/or biology of peptides in the five years preceding the date of selection, and is sponsored by the donation of Dr. Rao Makineni.

The 2024 awardee is Professor Ashraf Brik. Congratulations!

Prof. Brik is The Jordan and Irene Tark Academic Professor at the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He received his B.Sc. in chemistry from the Ben-Gurion University (1996), and his M.Sc. (1998) and Ph.D. from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (2001. After spending three years as a postdoc and two years as a senior research associate at the Scripps Research Institute, Brik returned to the Chemistry Department at his Alma Mater as an Assistant Professor (2007). He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and Full Professor in 2012. In 2015, Brik moved to the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at Technion, where he is leading an interdisciplinary research group in chemical biology. His research involves the development of novel synthetic approaches to shed light on fundamental questions on the role of posttranslational modifications in cellular processes, overcoming the limitations of the enzymatic methods to obtain these modified proteins. This has enabled numerous studies in a wide research area, from investigating the role of ubiquitination and phosphorylation in Parkinson’s disease to epigenetics. Brik also pioneered the development of chemical tools to study and target deubiquitinates and to discover effective macrocyclic peptides that bind tightly to specific ubiquitin chains and attenuate their activities in biological processes. Brik received several awards: the Bruno Award, the Israel Chemical Society Prize for Excellence, the Teva Award, the 11th Hirta Award, The Friedrich Bessel Research Award, and the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award. Prof Brik is the recipient of the Advanced ERC Grant (2019).