Dr Ben Swarts wins Young Investigator Award 2016

The 2016 International Carbohydrate Organization is delighted to announce that the Young Researcher Award for 2016 has been awarded to Dr Benjamin Swarts, Central Michigan University, USA.

Dr Swarts has made significant contributions to the development of new chemoenzymatic methods for the synthesis of complex carbohydrates and, more recently, to chemical glycobiology. In his PhD studies, he developed new methods for the chemical synthesis and enzymatic modification of protein glycolipid anchors, the glycosylphosphatidylinositols. During his postdoctoral work he established an innovative method for the study of the mycobacterial trehalome, the cohort of glycoconjugates containing trehalose, and helped to develop new super-sensitive fluorophores for the discrimination of mycobacteria through detection of sulfatase activity. His present work seeks to expand the chemical biology toolkit for studying glycolipids and other cell envelope components of the mycobacteria, which include the pathogen that causes tuberculosis. Dr Swarts’ recent work in this area is highlighted by the development of a one-step chemoenzymatic synthesis of trehalose-based probes for the detection of mycobacteria, and the creation of new bioorthogonal chemical reporters that facilitate the study of glycolipids and proteins in the mycobacterial outer membrane.

The Award is recognized with a plaque, an invitation to present at the upcoming International Carbohydrate Symposium (ICS), New Orleans, USA from July 17 to 22, 2016.

About the Young researcher Award:

The award is given every two years to a researcher who is 35 years old or younger as of the starting date of the next International Carbohydrate Symposium meeting, which is also held every two years.

Previous winners:
2014 – Dr Christian Lizak (Swizterland)

Dr Ben Swarts wins Young Investigator Award 2016