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Lubert Stryer

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Lubert Stryer

Lubert Stryer
Born (1938-03-02) March 2, 1938
Tianjin, China
Citizenship United States
Alma mater University of Chicago (B.S.)
Harvard Medical School (M.D.)
Awards European Inventor of the Year (2006)

Lubert Stryer (born March 2, 1938, in Tianjin, China) is the Mrs. George A. Winzer Professor of Cell Biology, Emeritus, at the Stanford University School of Medicine.[1][2] His research over more than four decades has been centered on the interplay of light and life. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Science from President Bush at a ceremony at the White House for elucidating the biochemical basis of signal amplification in vision, pioneering the development of high density micro-arrays for genetic analysis, and authoring the standard undergraduate biochemistry textbook, Biochemistry.[3] It is now in its eighth edition and also edited by Jeremy Berg, John L. Tymoczko and Gregory J. Gatto, Jr.[4]

Stryer received his B.S. degree from the University of Chicago in 1957 and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School. He was a Helen Hay Whitney Research Fellow[5] in the Department of Physics at Harvard and then at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology[6] in Cambridge, England, before joining the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford in 1963. In 1969 he moved to Yale to become Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and in 1976, he returned to Stanford to head a new Department of Structural Biology.[7]

Research profile

Stryer and coworkers pioneered the use of fluorescence spectroscopy, particularly Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), to monitor the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules.[8][9] In 1967, Stryer and Haugland showed that the efficiency of energy transfer depends on the inverse sixth power of the distance between the donor and acceptor,[10][11] as predicted by Förster's theory. They proposed that energy transfer can serve as a spectroscopic ruler to reveal proximity relationships in biological macromolecules.

A second contribution was Stryer's discovery of the primary stage of amplification in visual excitation.[12][13] Stryer, together with Fung and Hurley, showed that a single photoexcited rhodopsin molecule activates many molecules of transducin, which in turn activate many molecules of a cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase. Stryer's laboratory has also contributed to our understanding of the role of calcium in visual recovery and adaptation.[14][15][16]

Stryer participated in developing light-directed, spatially addressable parallel chemical synthesis for the synthesis of peptides and polynucleotides.[17][18][19] Light-directed combinatorial synthesis has been used by Stephen Fodor and coworkers at Affymetrix to make DNA arrays containing millions of different sequences for genetic analyses.

Starting in 1975, Stryer authored four editions of a textbook entitled Biochemistry.[20]

Stryer also chaired a National Research Council committee that produced a report entitled Bio2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists.[21][22]


Famous students


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  8. ^ Stryer, L., 1968. Fluorescence spectroscopy of proteins. Science 1632:526-533
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  10. ^ Stryer, L.,and Haugland, R.P., 1967. Energy transfer: a spectroscopic ruler. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 58:719-725
  11. ^ Lakowicz, J.R., 2006. Principles of Fluorescence Spectroscopy (Springer, 3rd ed., p. 449)
  12. ^ Fung,B., Hurley, J.B., and Stryer, L., 1981. Flow of information in the light-triggered cyclic nucleotide cascade of vision. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 78:152-156
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  14. ^ Koch, K.-W., and Stryer, L., 1988. Highly cooperative feedback control of retinal rod guanylate cyclase by calcium ion. Nature 334:64-66
  15. ^ Nature 389:198-202
  16. ^ Burgoyne, R.D. and Weiss, J.L., 2001. The neuronal calcium sensor family of Ca2+-binding proteins. Biochem. J. 353:1-12.
  17. ^ Fodor, S.P.A., Read, J.L., Pirrung, M.C., Stryer, L., Lu, A.T., and Solas, D., 1991. Light-directed, spatially addressable parallel chemical synthesis. Science 251:767-773
  18. ^ Fodor, S.P.A., Pirrung, M.C., Read, J.L., and Stryer, L., Array of oligonucleotides on a solid substrate. U.S. Patent No. 5,445,934. Issued August 29, 1995
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  20. ^ Latchman,D.S. (1995) Trends Biochem. Sci. 20:488.
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  27. ^ 1992
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