Awardee 2010

William A. Catterall

for his pioneering work in calzium channel research



The 2010 I. & H. Wachter Award honors Dr. William A. Catterall (USA), one of the worldwide leading scientist in the field of ion channel research. He received his B.A. degree in Chemistry from Brown University, his Ph.D. in Physiological Chemistry from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and did his postdoctoral training in neurobiology and molecular pharmacology with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Marshall Nirenberg at the National Institutes of Health. He joined the faculty of the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1977 as an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology, became professor in 1981, and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology in 1984.
Dr. Catterall and his colleagues discovered the voltage-gated sodium and calcium channel proteins, which are responsible for generation of electrical signals in the brain, heart, skeletal muscles, and other excitable cells. Their subsequent work has contributed much to understanding the structure, function, regulation, and molecular pharmacology of these key cell-signaling molecules. Dr. Catterall‘s recent work has turned toward understanding diseases caused by impaired function and regulation of voltage-gated ion channels, including epilepsy and periodic paralysis.
Dr. Catterall‘s research was recognized by many awards including numerous young scientist and investigator awards, the Basic Science Prize of the American Heart Association, the McKnight Foundation Senior Neuroscience Investigator Award, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research and the prestigious 2010 Canada Gairdner International Award. Dr. Catterall was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London in 2008. He served as editor and editorial board member in numerous other professional journals. Dr. Catterall and his colleagues have published more than 400 research papers and 30 reviews and reference works on voltage-gated ion channels. Other researchers have cited his papers more than 39,000 times.


Education
1968 B.A. (Chemistry), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
1972 Ph.D. (Physiological Chemistry), Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
   
Postgraduate Training
   
1972-1974 Muscular Dystrophy Association Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Dr. Marshall Nirenberg, Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics, NHLBI, NIH
   
Professional Experience
   
1974-1977 Staff Fellow and Research Chemist, Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics, NHLBI, NIH
1977-1981 Associate Professor
1981-present Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
1984-present Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
1986-present Chairman, Interdisciplinary Committee on Neurobiology, University of Washington
1986-1990 Director, Graduate Program in Neurobiology
   

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