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Guengerich lauded for contributions to chemical toxicology

BY: LEIGH MACMILLAN

9/01/2011 - F. Peter (Fred) Guengerich, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Biochemistry, received the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Toxicology Founders’ Award at the society’s annual meeting this week.

F. Peter (Fred) Guengerich, Ph.D.

F. Peter (Fred) Guengerich, Ph.D.

The award recognizes Guengerich’s outstanding research accomplishments and his numerous contributions to the field of chemical toxicology.

“This means a lot to me in that I have worked in this area since I was a postdoc,” said Guengerich, the Harry Pearson Broquist Professor of Biochemistry.

“I am grateful that I have had so many opportunities to contribute — and so much just plain fun doing the research and training others.”

Over the last three-plus decades, Guengerich and his colleagues have focused on how proteins called P450 enzymes metabolize drugs and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens).

They have also worked to understand how carcinogens interact with DNA to form adducts and how these adducts produce genetic mutations.

Their work has been important for understanding the mechanisms underlying cancer development, as well as suggesting ways to prevent the disease.

With more than 600 peer-reviewed original research publications and 170 scholarly reviews, Guengerich is one of the most highly cited researchers worldwide in the areas of biochemistry and pharmacology.

A member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1975, Guengerich has been director of the Center in Molecular Toxicology here since 1981.

He has received numerous honors for his teaching and research, including the Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research from Vanderbilt, the Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the William C. Rose Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

He serves as associate editor of the journals Chemical Research in Toxicology and The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Guengerich was instrumental in establishing the ACS Division of Chemical Toxicology, and he has served as division chair.

“He is a valued colleague to the entire toxicology community. It is altogether fitting that Fred Guengerich is the 2011 recipient of the Division of Chemical Toxicology’s Founders’ Award,” Carmello Rizzo, Ph.D., professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt, wrote in the division newsletter.

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