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Benjamin Cravatt awarded the 2020 Havinga Medal

Professor Benjamin Cravatt (The Scripps Research Institute) is the recipient of the 2020 Havinga Medal. He is awarded for his eminent and original contributions to the field of chemical biology, in particular for developing activity-based protein profiling.

Cravatt entered Stanford University in 1988, graduating in 1992 with a BS in the Biological Sciences and a BA in History. He then received a PhD in Macromolecular and Cellular Structure and Chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute in 1996, where he worked under the joint supervision of Dale L. Boger and Richard Lerner.

His early contributions to the cannabinoid field include identification and characterization of the endocannabinoid-terminating enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), as well as the isolation of the novel soporific compound oleamide from cerebrospinal fluid.

Cravatt and colleagues pioneered the activity based protein profiling (ABPP) chemical proteomic technology, which they used in 2010 to elucidate certain global proteomic features of cysteine proteases. Cravatt's lab has since combined the ABPP technology with metabolomics.

Among the awards that Cravatt has received are the TR100 Award in 2002, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry in 2004, the ASBMB-Merck Award in 2014 and the Sato Memorial Award in 2015. Cravatt also received an NCI MERIT grant in 2009. In 2022 he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Chemistry.

Cravatt is a co-founder of Vividion Therapeutics, Abide Therapeutics and ActivX Biosciences. He formerly served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Chemical Science.

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