PHILADELPHIA — P. Leslie Dutton, Ph.D. a biochemist and biophysicist at the Perelman School of Medicine , University of Pennsylvania, is among three Philadelphia scientists honored this month with the John Scott Award, one of the top prizes in the world of science and medicine.
Dutton, whose lifetime of research into the mechanism of electron transport, holds the key to fundamental explanations about the energy of all living cells. “To win this award, and to win it in Philadelphia for electron transfer is a total treat for me,” said Dutton. “My work is essentially bioelectricity – electron transfer through proteins that provide the energy by which cells exist – can trace its roots back through the centuries to Philadelphia and the work of Benjamin Franklin and his work in the discovery of electricity here in Philadelphia.”
In addition to Dr. Dutton, two physicians will share a second Scott Award for 2013: N. Scott Adzick, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for his pioneering contributions to fetal surgery and Robert L. Brent, M.D., the former Chairman of Pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University, whose research has led to significant advancements in understanding the genetic and environmental causes of birth defects and cancer. Dr. Dutton is the Eldridge Reeves Johnson Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He also serves as Director of the Johnson Foundation for Molecular Biophysics.
The winners, who will receive a cash prize and the copper Scott medal, will be honored at the American Philosophical Society – founded by Benjamin Franklin – at an evening ceremony on November 22nd.
The Scott Award was endowed by Scottish chemist and pharmacist John Scott as a lasting legacy to the scientific achievements of Benjamin Franklin and awarded in Philadelphia each year since 1822 to “ingenious men and women who make useful inventions” to benefit society as a whole. Past recipients include 15 winners of the Nobel Prize, among them Marie Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, R. Buckminster Fuller, Baruch Blumberg, Kary Mullis, K. Barry Sharpless and most recently physicist Saul Perlmutter, who won the Scott Award in 2005 and went on to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2011.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.9 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $409 million awarded in the 2014 fiscal year.
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