Dean Hanau Loeb Prize

About Dean Hanau W. Loeb, M.D.

In a meaningful way, the founding of the Department of Biochemistry at Saint Louis University was the brainchild of Dr. Hanau Loeb, an outstanding physician and visionary Dean who understood the value of basic sciences for the future of medical research and education.

Hanau Wolf Loeb was born in Philadelphia in 1866. After his early education in the East, he attended the University of Missouri, taking an A. B. degree in 1883 and an A. M. in 1886. He then began his medical studies in the Ensworth Medical College at St. Joseph, Missouri, which were completed in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, then a part of Columbia University in New York, in 1888.

After practicing medicine in St. Joseph, Missouri, for two years, he moved to St. Louis in 1890, where, with a number of colleagues, he organized the Marion Sims Medical College. The college was later merged with Beaumont Medical College and eventually became the Medical Department of Saint Louis University.

In 1913 he was made Dean of the Faculty of the School of Medicine of Saint Louis University.

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In 1924, Dean Loeb recruited Dr. Edward Doisy, then a young Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry at Washington University, to become the first chairman of the newly founded Department of Biochemistry at Saint Louis University.

Loeb’s decision was the Zeitenwende of biomedical research in our School of Medicine. He had the genius to foresee Doisy’s career trajectory from its early days and supported Doisy’s research generously, despite the modest resources available. In 1929, Doisy discovered estrogens and ten years later he isolated and chemically synthesized vitamin K. The work on vitamin K earned Doisy the 1943 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Dr. Doisy assigned the patents on the discovery of estrogens to Saint Louis University, in appreciation of Dean Loeb’s support. The endowment generated by these patents is worth today more than 200 million dollars and supports research in the department of Biochemistry and the rest of the medical school.

Dean Loeb died in 1927 and could not witness the spectacular returns of his investment in Doisy’s research and in the department he helped found a few years earlier. His vision of success for our medical school depending on generous support of research remains relevant to this day. His genius in recruiting and developing talent to achieve success is unsurpassed and an inspiration for us all.

The Dean Hanau W. Loeb Prize

In recognition of Dean Loeb’s outstanding contributions to our department and the growth of research in our medical school, we are pleased to announce the Dean Hanau Loeb Prize for the best BMB journal article.
  • About the Prize

    A $3,000 cash prize awarded annually in April.

  • Eligibility

    A BMB lab member who is the first author of a journal article published during the previous calendar year, for which a current primary or secondary BMB faculty is the corresponding author.

  • Nominations

    Nominations must be submitted via the form below by the end of February.

  • Selection

    All primary and secondary faculty vote to select the winner.

Loeb Prize Winners

2023 Loeb Prize Winner: Sahiti Kuppa
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Sahiti is a graduate student in the lab of Edwin Antony and was awarded the 2023 Loeb Prize for her paper in Nature Communications entitled “Rtt105 regulates RPA function by configurationally stapling the flexible domains.”

This paper details Sahiti’s thesis work, where she made the discovery of and fully characterized the interaction between Rtt105 and RPA. This is a paradigm-shifting finding in understanding how protein-interactions with RPA are regulated in the cell. Sahiti was awarded an F99-K00 fellowship from the NCI at the NIH for her work on Rtt105.

2024 Loeb Prize Winner: Jaigeeth Deveryshetty, Ph.D.
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Jaigeeth is a Research Scientist in the lab of Edwin Antony and was awarded the 2024 Loeb Prize for his paper in Nature Communications entitled “Yeast Rad52 is a homodecamer and possesses BRCA2-like bipartite Rad51 binding modes.”

Jaigeeth solved the structures of Rad52 and the Rad52-Rad51 complex, which lead to the discovery of how mediator proteins function in homologous recombination. Jaigeeth collaborated with the WUCCI and used Cryo-em to solve the structures, as well as discovering a novel binding site in Rad52 for Rad51 and the complete mechanism of Rad52. Jaigeeth won both best poster and best talk for this work at the Midwest DNA Repair Conference and was awarded the Emerging Scientist Award from the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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