Leiden University

To honor the young scientists responsible for the very best papers published in Biochemistry.

Dr. Can Araman is the recipient of the 2020 Gordon Hammes Scholar Award. The Gordon Hammes Scholar Award honors the young scientists responsible for the very best papers published in Biochemistry. Established in 2017 and awarded alongside the Gordon Hammes Lectureship Award, the Scholar Award seeks to recognize those at the bench – graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduates – for the outstanding work they do. The award is sponsored jointly by Biochemistry and the ACS Division of Biological Chemistry.

Dr. Araman has been selected to receive the Gordon Hammes Scholar award, on the basis of his 2019 first-author paper in Biochemistry entitled “ Amyloid-like behavior of site-specifically citrullinated myelin oligodendrocyte protein (MOG) peptide fragments inside EBV infected B-cells influences their cytotoxicity and autoimmunogenicity” with co-authors M. van Gent, N. Meeuwenoord, N. Heijmans, M. H. S. Marqvorsen, W. Doelman, B. W. Faber, B. A.  ́t Hart. and S.I. van Kasteren.  Dr. Araman’s accomplishments stood out on the basis of his work spanning peptide synthesis through brain immunology to explain disease, all the while combining creativity with thoroughness and precision. He has taken a leadership role in his lab, had two grants funded and is contributing lectures to a course, as a postdoc.  His award-winning achievement is his demonstration that amyloid formation is stimulated by the presence of citrulline side chains in autoimmune epitopes important in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).  The conversion of naturally-occurring arginine to amyloidogenic citrulline occurs via the action of an enzyme whose activity is elevated following infection with Epstein Barr virus (EBV), explaining the correlation between EBV infection and MS.

Dr. Araman will present a talk describing his research and receive his award during the Gordon Hammes ACS Biochemistry Symposium at the 260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, held in San Francisco, Aug. 16-20, 2020.