Dr. Eddy Arnold Elected as 2014 American Crystallographic Association Fellow

Eddy Arnold, Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, and Resident Faculty Member at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA). Professor Arnold was honored for his research in macromolecular crystallography and drug design targeting infectious disease agents, and also for his contributions to the field through scholarly and organizational activities. Faculty colleague Helen Berman, also Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, was elected as an ACA Fellow in the inaugural class of 2011. ACA Fellows serve as scientific ambassadors to the broader scientific community and the general public to advance science education, research, knowledge, interaction, and collaboration.

Professor Eddy Arnold has been a faculty member at Rutgers since 1987, following undergraduate and graduate study in chemistry at Cornell University with Professor Jon Clardy, and postdoctoral research at Purdue University, where he worked with Professor Michael G. Rossmann (ACA Fellow 2011) to obtain a picture of a human common cold virus in atomic detail, the first animal virus structure. Arnold is author of more than 250 publications in prominent peer-reviewed scientific journals. With Professor Rossmann, Arnold co-edited the first International Tables for Crystallography volume devoted to crystallography of biological macromolecules (Volume F, editions published in 1999 and 2012). Eddy Arnold also has served on several national and international advisory committees, including for synchrotron X-ray facilities, and served as Chair of the International Union of Crystallography Commission on Biological Macromolecules (2005-2011).

Professor Eddy Arnold is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2001), and of the American Academy of Microbiology (2006). Since its inception in 1987, Professor Arnold’s laboratory has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and he is the recipient of two consecutive NIH MERIT Awards (1998-2008, 2009-2019), which extend five-year grants to ten years and are awarded to less than 5% of NIH investigators. In 2013 Dr. Arnold received the Hyacinth Award “Honoring outstanding achievements in the struggle against HIV/AIDS,” recognizing work that he and his group have done to understand the structure and function of the AIDS virus reverse transcriptase enzyme, and to develop drugs that can overcome resistance. HIV reverse transcriptase is responsible for copying the viral genetic material in infected cells and is the target of many of the most widely used anti-AIDS drugs.

The year 2014 has been designated by UNESCO as the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of X-ray diffraction, the phenomenon that enables determination of the structures of molecules ranging in complexity from table salt to entire viruses and other complex biological machines. Professor Arnold was Director of an International School of Crystallography course on structure-based drug design in Erice, Sicily, Italy in June 2014, attended by 160 scientists from around the world. Dr. Arnold also presented a Keynote Lecture at the International Union of Crystallography Congress in Montreal in August describing his laboratory’s structural studies of HIV reverse transcriptase and how that information has contributed to the discovery and development of two drugs used for treating HIV infection. In October 2014 he also gave invited lectures at Purdue University, in Italy (International Year of Crystallography Meeting in Torino), and in France (European Molecular Biology Laboratory Outstation, Grenoble, and Institute for Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Strasbourg).

Professor Arnold said: “being named an ACA Fellow is particularly gratifying because of my passion for and long-term involvement in crystallography and the pivotal contributions of this field to fundamental chemical and biological knowledge and ongoing biomedical discovery.”