Kevin Gardner, Einstein Professor at CCNY, is the 2023 Biophysical Society Award winner.
Kevin H. Gardner, Einstein Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry in The City College of New York’s Division of Science, is the recipient of the Biophysical Society’s 2023 BPS Award for the Biophysics of Health and Disease. Gardner, who also heads the Structural Biology Initiative at the CCNY-based CUNY Advanced Science Research Center located on the CCNY campus, will be honored at the Society’s 67th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, February 18-22, 2023.
BPS’ Biophysics of Health and Disease Award honors significant contribution to understanding the fundamental cause or pathogenesis of disease, or to enabling the treatment or prevention.
Gardner has been recognized for his development and application of magnetic resonance methodology to elucidate the regulatory mechanism of molecular switches, leading to the development of “PAS domain inhibitors” for cancer therapies and the exceptional translation of this understanding to the development of an effective cancer drug. The first of these, Merck’s belzutifan, received FDA approval for clinical use in treating a class of genetically-inherited cancers in 2021.
“The ultimate goal of biomedical research, no matter how fundamental, is to eventually have an impact on human health,” said BPS President Gail Robertson, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Dr. Gardner has achieved this lofty goal. He has taken basic biophysical research to the bedside, leading to life-saving technologies with real world applications.”
When asked about the award, Gardner noted “I am tremendously proud of the hard work, done by many in both academic and industrial laboratories, that have turned this innovative, high-risk idea into a first-in-class drug to treat certain cancers. It is an achievement like this which underscores the importance of interdisciplinary research in my mind.”
About Professor Kevin Gardner
Through his training and into his own lab, Gardner integrates a mix of structural biology, biochemistry, and other approaches to investigate how protein-based switches work in cell signaling. More broadly, he is a big vocal proponent of interdisciplinary research and science communication, and applying both of these strategies to bridge the academic and entrepreneurial communities. Gardner received his BS in biochemistry from UC Davis (1989) before obtaining his PhD degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University (1995) for his research with Dr. Joseph Coleman on the development of new NMR methods to study metalloprotein structure and dynamics. Continuing his training in structural biology, he did a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Lewis Kay at the University of Toronto, developing novel isotopic labeling and other methods for the study of large proteins and their complexes with solution NMR. Gardner began his independent academic career at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he established a structural biology research group within the Departments of Biophysics and Biochemistry, exploring the regulatory mechanisms of several classes of sensory proteins and discovering ways which these can lead to novel therapeutics and biotech tools. In 2013, he joined CUNY and City College, where he proudly leads works with outstanding Ph.D. and undergraduate students in both research and education.
About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.