Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards: Youxing Jiang, Ph.D. (Science, 2013)

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST) recognized UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Drs. Youxing Jiang and Lora Hooper in 2013 as two of the state’s top rising stars in research.

Dr. Jiang, Professor of Physiology, and Dr. Hooper received Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards from the academy at its annual conference. Each year, the awards honor three outstanding, up-and-coming researchers in science, medicine, and engineering and their work. Each O’Donnell Award consists of a $25,000 honorarium, a citation and an inscribed statue.

The 2013 O’Donnell Award in Science recognizes Dr. Jiang’s efforts to elucidate the atomic structures of membrane-bound ion channels, which are cell surface proteins that allow specific charged particles like sodium and potassium ions to pass through or be blocked by cell membranes.

Ion channels are so fundamental to human existence that problems in these proteins are blamed for a range of conditions called channelopathies, which include some forms of epilepsy, migraine, fibromyalgia and paralysis. Solving the atomic structure of ion channels, a very high-tech way of visualizing them at the atomic level, is a major step toward understanding and better treating these conditions, Dr. Jiang explained.

The video is courtesy of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST).