The Miklos Bodanszky Award is presented every two years, during the European Peptide Symposium, in commemoration of Miklos Bodanszky’s contributions to peptide research, to a young scientist who has in the opinion of the General Assembly of the Society made the most outstanding contribution to peptide research in the period of maximum ten years after obtaining the PhD degree. The Award is presented during the EPS Symposium and is sponsored by BCN Peptides.
The 2018 awardee is Norman Metanis. Congratulations!
Norman Metanis was born in Haifa in 1978, and earned his B.A. in Chemistry in 2000 (Cum Laude) from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. After one year as a visiting student at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, he returned to the Technion and completed his M.A. degree in 2004 (Cum Laude). He then returned to TSRI, completing his Ph.D. work in 2008 under the supervision of Prof. Ehud Keinan and Prof. Philip Dawson, as part of a joint program between the Technion and TSRI. Dr. Metanis next joined Prof. Donald Hilvert’s group at ETH Zurich as a postdoctoral research associate. In 2013, Dr. Metanis was appointed a Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among other awards, Dr. Metanis was awarded the Ma’of Fellowship for Outstanding Arab Lecturer (2013-2016), was named a “Thieme Chemistry Journal Awardee” (2017), and was selected as outstanding teacher for “Organic Chemistry for Medical Students” (2017), and was elected as the National Representative at the European Peptide Society (EPS) (2018).
A major focus of the Dr. Metanis’s work is elucidating the function of human selenoproteins, proteins that contain the twenty-first encoded amino acid selenocysteine, which is normally found in the active site. This family of proteins is poorly studied since it is quite challenging to prepare them in sufficient quantities using biological methods. Along these lines, the Metanis group has recently made significant progress in selenocysteine chemistry, and discovered methods were applied successfully for the chemical synthesis of two human selenoproteins. These syntheses should allow full characterization of this family of proteins in the future.
In addition, Dr. Metanis’s interdisciplinary research group studies bioorganic chemistry, protein science, chemical protein synthesis, the development of chemoselective reactions applied to peptides and proteins, therapeutic peptides and proteins, protein posttranslational modifications, and discovery of protein functions.