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Stephen Withers elected Fellow of the Royal Society (London)

Congratulations to Professor Stephen Withers, who has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (London). The honour recognizes Dr. Withers’ contributions to our understanding of the reaction mechanism of enzymes.

Stephen Withers is one of the world’s foremost experts on the enzymes that assemble and degrade the carbohydrates that perform important biological functions such as storing energy and providing structural support for cell walls. The impact of this extends across many disciplines.

His research has opened new doors for treating various diseases and introduced new research techniques. Among his achievements is an inhibitor with the potential to prevent the influenza virus from using its own enzymes to spread through the body. Improved treatments for diabetes and other diseases are also possible as well as new ways to synthesize complex sugars using engineered enzymes.

Stephen Withers joined the UBC Chemistry Department in 1982 after completing his BSc and PhD at the University of Bristol and his Postdoctoral work at the University of Alberta. He is a Professor of both Chemistry and Biochemistry at UBC and Director of the Centre for High-throughput Biology (CHiBi).

The Royal Society of London is a self-governing Fellowship made up of world-renowned scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science. Prof. Withers joins the ranks of such scientific greats as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. There are currently around 1,500 Fellows; only 11 UBC science researchers have been elected to the Society.

Visit the Royal Society for further information.