Biophysical Society Honors NINDS’s Swartz
Dr. Kenton Swartz, a senior investigator in the molecular physiology and biophysics section of the NINDS Division of Intramural Research, recently received the Kenneth S. Cole Award from the Biophysical Society.
Each year the award is given to an investigator who has made substantial contributions to the understanding of membrane biophysics. Swartz was recognized at the society’s annual meeting in New Orleans.
“It was a great honor to receive the award because so many of our contributions were only possible due to the foundational work of previous Cole awardees,” said Swartz. “It was also wonderful because Kenneth Cole spent a good part of his research career working at NIH, and receiving this award symbolizes the longstanding contributions of many NIH investigators to the biophysical sciences.”
Swartz earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry and biology in 1986 from Eastern Mennonite College and his Ph.D. in neurobiology in 1992 from Harvard University. He joined NINDS in 1997.
His current research uses biochemical, molecular, biological and biophysical techniques to learn how ion channel proteins sense critical biological stimuli, including membrane voltage, temperature and chemical signals. Understanding the structure and mechanisms of ion channels is essential because these proteins are involved in many important physiological processes and diseases and are widely targeted by therapeutic drugs.—Shannon E. Garnett