David Boehr, an assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University, has been honored with a 2011 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award is the most prestigious award in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent teaching, and the integration of education and research. The CAREER award provides five years of funding and is given to assistant professors by the NSF directorates at different times during the year.
Boehr uses biochemical and biophysical techniques to study the role of protein dynamics in enzyme function, coordination and regulation. In particular, he uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) -- a structural technique that takes advantage of the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei to reveal information about molecules -- in order to analyze enzyme dynamics. Boehr applies this information to the improvement of drug design and protein engineering.
Boehr's previous awards include a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2004, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada B Postgraduate Fellowship in 2001, and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada A Postgraduate Fellowship in 1998. Boehr is the author of numerous peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Science, Chemical Review, and Nature Chemical Biology. He has given talks and presented posters at several conferences.
Boehr earned a doctorate degree in biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University in 2004. In 1993, he received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Lethbridge in Canada, where he earned a Gold Medal in Science.