Graduate Student Sharon Torigoe wins Kamen Prize

May 24, 2013

By Kim McDonald

Sharon Torigoe
Sharon Torigoe

Sharon Torigoe, a doctoral student working in James Kadonaga's laboratory, is one of two winners of this year's Kamen Prize, given annually to an outstanding thesis in biochemistry defended at UC San Diego. A cash prize of $1,500 will be awarded in June to both Torigoe and a second recipient, Andro Rios, a doctoral student working in the laboratory of Yitzhak Tor, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Both Torigoe and Rios also will be invited to present the Martin D. Kamen Lecture the following academic year.

The Kamen Prize was established in 1978 by the friends and family of Martin Kamen, a professor of chemistry at UC San Diego and the co-discoverer of carbon 14 when he was at UC Berkeley in the early 1940s. He came in 1960 to this campus, where he continued important work on the photosynthetic transport proteins until his retirement. He passed away in 2002.

Torigoe's thesis, "Identification of the Prenucleosome and Analysis of the Mechanism of ATP-dependent Chromatin assembly," was among eight nominees reviewed by the committee that selected the award winners. Rios's dissertation is entitled "On the origin of the canonical nucleobases: selection pressures and hydrolytic stabilities of N-glycosyl bonds."