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George Smith receives 2007 Promega Biotechnology Research Award

July 30, 2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The 2007 Promega Biotechnology Research Award, supported by the Promega Corporation, honored George P. Smith, Curators’ Professor, Division of Biological Sciences, for developing phage-display technology.

Smith’s fundamental research with bacteriophage assembly led him to consider modifying the phage coat protein for display of a random library of polypeptides – or epitopes. Thus the phage-display technology was developed. Peptides displayed on the surface of filamentous bacteriophage can be selected for unique sequences, morphologies, or chemistries and the selected peptides amplified through phage propagation to generate sufficient material for sequencing to identify the peptides. Phage display combinatorial libraries have become invaluable tools for the identification of novel peptides or protein fragments that bind to a diverse range of targets.

Smith has applied the phage display technology in his laboratory to the pursuit of understanding antibody/antigen interaction, and in doing so, he has continued to improve the practical application. His remarkable technology is now used around the world in a remarkable array of disciplines, from identification of unique targets on tumor blood vessels, to nanocrystal assembly by peptides with semiconductor binding specificity.

Source: MU College of Arts & Science

Related research strengths:
Cell Biology, Genetics & Genomics, Molecular Biology