UT Southwestern biochemist honored with NIH Director's Pioneer Award

tterns to signs of depression.

Studies of the genetic link to sleep patterns may help researchers better understand and treat insomnia and other sleep-related disorders, while a clearer picture of the relationship between circadian rhythms and depression might impact drug discovery in the treatment of potentially significant forms of mood disorder.

"Taking major risks and achieving momentous accomplishments have characterized Steve McKnight's career," said Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of UT Southwestern. "His groundbreaking discoveries of the mechanisms responsible for controlling gene expression are truly worthy of this recognition by the NIH."

Dr. Alfred Gilman, Nobel laureate and interim dean of the UT Southwestern Medical School, said: "I am excited, very proud and pleased that this incredibly innovative scientist has won such a prestigious award."

Dr. McKnight is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He sits on the editorial boards of multiple peer-reviewed journals. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Dr. McKnight received his bachelor's degree from UT Austin. After completing his doctorate in biology from the University of Virginia, he joined the Carnegie Institution of Washington, where he carried out his early work on gene regulation. Between his time at the Carnegie Institution and his arrival at UT Southwestern, Dr. McKnight co-founded and launched Tularik Inc., a biotechnology company located in San Francisco dedicated to the discovery of drugs that act through the regulation of gene expression.


Contact: Megha Satyanarayana
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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