Two UCSC research teams recognized for outstanding papers in PNAS

The Cozzarelli Prize recognizes selected papers as outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences


Papers by two teams of scientists at UC Santa Cruz are among the six winners and six finalists of the 2020 Cozzarelli Prize, selected by the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) to recognize outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Papers were chosen from the more than 3,600 research articles that appeared in the journal last year in six broadly defined categories. The annual Cozzarelli Prize acknowledges papers that reflect scientific excellence and originality.

The winner in the category of Applied Biological, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences was a paper on the behavior of coral reef fish, “Fast behavioral feedbacks make ecosystems sensitive to pace and not just magnitude of anthropogenic environmental change,” by Michael A. Gil, Marissa L. Baskett, Stephan B. Munch, and Andrew M. Hein.

Gil, the first author, was a postdoctoral scholar in the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) at UCSC when he completed the work and is currently at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Munch is an associate adjunct professor of ecology and evolutionary biology (EEB) at UCSC and is also affiliated with the IMS and with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries program. Hein also has a joint affiliation with IMS, EEB, and NOAA. The IMS Fisheries Collaborative Program brings together UCSC and NOAA scientists to conduct research for the conservation and management of marine resources.

In the category of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, the finalist was a paper on the role of the amyloid beta protein in Alzheimer’s disease, “Evidence for aggregation-independent, PrPC-mediated Aβ cellular internalization,” by Alejandro R. Foley, Graham P. Roseman, Ka Chan, Amanda Smart, Thomas S. Finn, Kevin Yang, R. Scott Lokey, Glenn L. Millhauser, and Jevgenij A. Raskatov.

All of the authors are in UCSC’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Graduate student Alejandro Foley (now at Genentech) and postdoctoral researcher Graham Roseman (now at Yale University School of Medicine) are co-first authors, and the corresponding authors are Jevgenij Raskatov, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Glenn Millhauser, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry. For more information about this study, see “Novel technique spotlights neuronal uptake of amyloid beta in Alzheimer’s disease.”