Nevan Krogan, PhD, senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes and director of UC San Francisco’s (UCSF) Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI), has been awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest decoration, in a ceremony at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France.
The award was given in recognition of Krogan’s leadership in forming a large international research collaboration—QBI’s Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG)—to study the novel coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic.
The group included many scientists from Gladstone, UCSF, and elsewhere in the United States and Europe. Together, the researchers developed detailed protein interaction maps that showed how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, hijacks cells, indicating potential therapeutic targets.
“This award will serve as additional inspiration to continue my work in revolutionizing how we collaborate in science to solve some of the world’s biggest medical challenges.”
The work has identified a drug that is now in clinical trials as a COVID-19 antiviral, as well as some 50 papers. The QCRG collaboration has been rewarded with $67.5 million from the National Institutes of Health and another $9 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to continue their research.
“Presenting Dr. Krogan with France’s highest distinction is an expression of gratitude of our country towards him, given his leadership in building innovative cooperation projects between France and the US, in particular between QBI and the Institut Pasteur, both international centers of excellence in biosciences,” notes Frédéric Jung, Consul General of France in San Francisco.
Krogan was decorated with his award by Professor Stewart Cole, President of the Institut Pasteur, who officiated the Legion of Honor ceremony in the historic Museé Pasteur.
The Legion of Honor has been given to leaders in many different fields, and it is not necessary to be a citizen of France to receive it. Krogan, who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, is a Canadian citizen.
He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry and an MSc in biology from the University of Regina, and a PhD in medical genetics from the University of Toronto. Krogan came to UCSF as a Sandler Fellow in 2006 and became a faculty member the following year. In 2011, he became an investigator at Gladstone, and in 2016, he was appointed director of QBI, which is part of the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
Krogan uses systems biology to study complex biological and biomedical problems. As head of QBI, he has fostered an ethos of collaboration, breaking down academic walls to assemble diverse teams of experts. The QCRG, for example, includes more than 40 QBI labs, along with collaborators from around the world who are focused on COVID-19.
“This award will serve as additional inspiration to continue my work in revolutionizing how we collaborate in science to solve some of the world’s biggest medical challenges,” says Krogan. “I am deeply honored to receive the Legion of Honor Award and feel privileged for this prestigious recognition by France.”
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