2016 Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award

Oxford University Press (publisher of Glycobiology) and the Society for Glycobiology have recently established an award for new and mid-career scientists that have made a key discovery during their early careers with the potential to have a substantial impact on the glycoscience community. 

This year, Glycobiology is delighted to present the inaugural Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award to in Japan. The award will be given to Dr. Tadashi Suzuki at the Society for Glycobiology Annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. When Tadashi was an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Professor Yasuo Inoue, he discovered a peptide:N-glycanase (commonly known to all of us as PNGase) that is responsible for removing intact N-glycans from glycoproteins during protein recycling. The relevance of this discovery was not fully appreciated until recently when a new Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation was discovered in the human ortholog, NGLY1. Children born with this rare genetic disorder lack N-glycanase resulting in an accumulation of misfolded glycoproteins within their cells that leads to the malfunction of several organ systems. Tadashi’s pioneering work has led to the identification of an enzyme that could be targeted with inhibitors to potentially treat patients with NGLY1 deficiencies. Thus, Dr. Suzuki’s studies have already impacted the glycoscience community through the identification of reagents capable of removing N-glycans from glycoproteins and elucidation of the process for N-glycoprotein recycling and degradation, but will also impact the families and children living with NGLY1 deficiencies.