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Dr. David Siderovski, recipient of Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize
Dr. David P. Siderovski, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, received in September of 2006 one of four campus-wide Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Hettleman Prize, which carries a $5,000 stipend, recognizes the achievements of outstanding junior tenure-track faculty or recently tenured faculty. The award was established by Phillip Hettleman, who was born in 1899 and grew up in Goldsboro, N.C., in a family with very little money. He earned a scholarship to Carolina, went to New York and, in 1938, founded Hettleman & Co., a Wall Street investment firm. He established the award in 1986 and died later that year.
Siderovski came back to academia in 1999, after four years working in drug discovery with AMGEN Inc. His research is centered on a unique family of molecules he discovered in 1996 – the Regulators of G-protein Signaling or “RGS proteins” – that modify the duration and strength of hormone communication between cells. "What separates Dr. Siderovski from many investigators is his exceptional multi-disciplinary skills," said Dr. Gary Johnson, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, in his nomination letter. "Dr. Siderovski uses bioinformatics and cross-genome analysis to parse out new discoveries of protein architecture, then he employs structural and cell biology, biochemistry and genetics to validate his predictions and hypotheses." Johnson called Siderovski "fearless" in his use of multiple disciplines.
Johnson submitted three letters supporting Siderovski's nomination that also supported his recent promotion to associate professor. The three authors were members of the National Academy of Sciences, and one is a Nobel laureate. "They unanimously describe Dr. Siderovski's research as groundbreaking, creative and truly outstanding," Johnson said.
Dr. Siderovski’s discovery and research on these RGS proteins has resulted in over 60 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals in the past 7 years, as well as editorialship over two volumes of the renowned journal Methods in Enzymology dedicated to this protein superfamily. He has received three notable career awards prior to the Hettleman Prize: a Year 2000 Neuroscience Research Scholar Award from the EJLB Foundation, the Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmacological Sciences New Investigator Award in 2001, and the 2004 John Jacob Abel Award to the Outstanding American Pharmacologist under 40 from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
In addition to outstanding accomplishments as a research scientist, Siderovski works tirelessly in university service as Co-Director of the UNC M.D./Ph.D. Program Executive Committee, and a member of the School of Medicine’s Research Advisory Committee and Translational Science Advisory Committee. He also regularly participates in several National Institutes of Health study section panels in Washington, D.C. that adjudicate the scientific merits of biomedical research grants and postdoctoral fellowship proposals from across the nation.