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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Professor Mary Kraft recipient of the 2014 Walter A. Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipid Research

Professor Mary Kraft was awarded the 2014 Walter A. Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipid Research
Mary Kraft

Professor Mary Kraft in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is the recipient of the 2014 Walter A. Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipid Research from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

The Walter A. Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipid Research, established by ASBMB’s Lipid Research Division, recognizes outstanding research contributions in the area of lipids by young investigators.

Kraft said she is honored to receive the award for her research in which she and her researchers have “pioneered the application of a new high-resolution imaging mass spectrometry technique to identify how cholesterol and sphingolipids are organized in cell membranes, which addresses a key dispute in cell biology.”

She says the award is a great honor because it “demonstrates that the biochemistry and cell biology community recognizes the importance of my research.”

“The award helps to disseminate my findings to scientists outside of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, namely to biochemists and molecular and cellular biologists,” Kraft said.

In her research, Kraft has developed and validated methods to quantitatively image the lipid composition of small regions of membranes in cells using high resolution mass spectrometry imaging combined with metabolic isotope labeling. She has made important discoveries related to the sphingolipid and cholesterol organization in cell membranes that have major implications for our understanding of plasma membrane organization.

Kraft received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago, her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. She joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2007.

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