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Nevan Krogan Named First-Ever Winner of the Discovery | Innovation | Health Prize

Nevan Krogan, PhD

Prize Further Supports Dr. Krogan’s Scientific Innovation and Global Collaboration Against Future Pandemic Threats

Research!America today announced Nevan Krogan, Ph.D., director of University of California, San Francisco’s Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI), as the recipient of the first-ever $200,000 Discovery | Innovation | Health Prize, generously supported by Pfizer, for his trailblazing efforts to address future pandemic threats.

 The prize further enables Dr. Krogan’s innovative use of technology and his leadership in building international collaborations to confront emerging infectious diseases. His center of excellence, jointly established with the world-renowned Institut Pasteur in France, will achieve cross-sector, cross-disciplinary collaboration, amplifying research and innovation across the globe to create the strongest possible front against pandemic threats.

 “We are making a mistake as a nation to assume we are ready for the next pandemic — we can’t know where or when the next global health threat will emerge, but we do know infectious diseases transcend all borders,” said Mary Woolley, Research!America president and CEO. “Dr. Krogan’s approach — using an integrated suite of technologies, along with an international cohort of researchers — to study complex biological and biomedical problems — is vital in preparing our nation and our world to address future pandemics.”

“Investing in leading-edge research and building global collaborations in advance of future health threats is our best strategy to protect human life, health, and opportunity,” said Woolley. “We are grateful for the support of Pfizer, which made this award possible.”

Dr. Krogan, whose COVID-19 research has been the subject of numerous publications, expects new insights to be published in a top-tier journal soon.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by Research!America, though ultimately this award is a recognition of the value of novel scientific methodologies to identify the viral modifications of human proteins via an unprecedented cross-organizational collaboration,” said Dr. Krogan. “We showed the world how fast researchers can address complicated medical challenges when we work together. I strongly believe that the lessons learned and new techniques developed during this pandemic will accelerate timely cures for a wide range of present and future diseases.”

Dr. Krogan’s partnership with Institut Pasteur began in the early days of the pandemic when there were no effective treatments for COVID-19. By isolating the human proteins the coronavirus attaches itself to, Dr. Krogan and his global collaborators ultimately discovered two drugs, zotatifin and plitidepsin, that attack those proteins. While drug discovery typically spans three to five years, Dr. Krogan’s team identified COVID-19 treatment compounds in less than four months. Both drugs are currently in clinical trials.

The prize will be presented today at Research!America’s annual National Health Research Forum in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Krogan will speak. Research!America launched the award this year to provide support for a researcher or clinician with a bold vision for progress against pandemic threats.

Contact Tim Haynes, Senior Director of Communications, at 571-482-2737 or thaynes@researchamerica.org with press inquiries.


 About Research!America
Research!America is a non-profit medical and health research advocacy alliance which advocates for science, discovery, and innovation to achieve better health for all. Learn more at www.researchamerica.org.

 About Nevan Krogan

Dr. Krogan received an undergraduate degree in chemistry and an MSc in biology from the University of Regina, and a Ph.D. in medical genetics from the University of Toronto. He came to UC San Francisco (UCSF) as a Sandler Fellow in 2006 and started as a faculty member the following year. In 2011, he became an investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Data Science and Biotechnology, and in 2016 he was appointed director of QBI, which is part of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. He has joint UCSF appointments in the School of Medicine’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and the School of Pharmacy’s Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. In 2022, Dr. Krogan was awarded the highest honor in France, the Legion of Honor, which was bestowed for his leadership in forming an international research collaboration across academic and industry organizations around the world and for their significant scientific contributions utilizing a novel methodology of identifying the viral modifications of human proteins that fueled SARS-CoV-2 pathology to identify potential treatments against COVID-19.

 About the Discovery | Innovation | Health Prize

Research!America’s 2023 Discovery | Innovation | Health Prize, generously supported Pfizer, recognizes and provides support for a researcher or clinician with a bold vision for progress against pandemic threats. Prize applications were reviewed by a group of subject-matter experts and an esteemed jury, led by Dr. Victor Dzau, Research!America board member and president of the National Academy of Medicine.

 About QBI

The Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) fosters collaborations across the biomedical and the physical sciences, seeking quantitative methods to address pressing problems in biology and biomedicine. Motivated by problems of human disease, QBI is committed to investigating fundamental biological mechanisms, because ultimately solutions to many diseases have been revealed by unexpected discoveries in the basic sciences. Learn more at qbi.ucsf.edu.