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Prof. Greta Pifat Mrzljak presented with the Emily M. Gray Award

Sep 8th 2009

American Biophysical Society has awarded Professor Greta Pifat Mrzljak, PhD, with the Emily M. Gray Award for her outstanding record of accomplishments and leadership of the triennial international summer schools and textbooks on Supramolecular Structure and Function. This is the first time ever that Biophysical Society has presented this award to a non US laureate, which is a remarkable recognition for Croatia and the Ruđer Bošković Institute as well.

Professor Pifat started organizing Summer Schools on Biophysics as early as in 1981, which have since then been organized by the RBI and the Croatian Biophysical Society. Every three years this School gathers around 120 participants of a very diverse scientific background (physicists, chemists, biophysicists, medical doctors, biochemists, molecular biologists etc.) from all over the world and about 30 most prominent lecturers including Nobel Prize laureates. This year the school will be held for the tenth time. The program will include a range of topics in biophysics, such as materials of biological molecules, mechanisms of supramolecular interactions, modern experimental methods in biophysics, bioinformatics and applied biophysics. It is this interdisciplinary approach, as well as a wide range of topics, which attach a special status to this Summer School and differentiate it from other schools of that type. It is no wonder, therefore, that some European universities have included this school in the curriculum of their postgraduate studies. Due to its internationally recognized quality the Summer Schools on Biophysics bears the predicate Master Classes of UNESCO.

'Besides the organization of internationally acknowledged Summer Schools on Biophysics and editorial activities, for which professor Greta Pifat Mrzljak has been given a prestigious award, it is particularly important to point out that Greta was the initiator and organizer (with the help of Prof. R. Huber and Prof. M. Eigen) of the activity: Nobel Laureates for Peace in Croatia in 1991 - the appeal for peace which was signed by 127 Nobel Laureate and which had significantly contributed to the international recognition of the Croatian position and to peace making. Therefore, Professor Greta is certainly one of the best known and most distinguished scientists of the Ruđer Bošković Institute and in Croatia as well. American Biophysical Society has in a specific way confirmed this.' said Neven Žarković, MD, PhD, senior scientist at the RBI and one of the closest associates of Prof. Pifat.

The Biophysical Society, founded in 1956, is a professional, scientific society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. The Society promotes growth in this expanding field through its annual meeting, monthly journal, and committee and outreach activities. Its 8600 members are located throughout the U.S. and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry. The Emily M. Gray Award is given for significant contributions to education in biophysics whether by teaching, developing novel educational methods or materials, promoting scientific outreach efforts to the public or to youth, generating a track record of attracting new students to the field of biophysics, or by otherwise fostering an environment exceptionally conducive to education in biophysics.

This year, besides Prof. Greta Pifat Mrzljak the awardees are: Tom A. Rapoport (Howard Hughes Medical Institute), James A. Hamilton (Boston University School of Medicine), Crino Nimigean (Weill Medical College, Cornell University), Maria Spies (University of Illinois), S. Walter Englander (University of Pennsylvania), Mordecai P. Blaustein (University of Maryland School of Medicine), Mark J. Schnitzer (Stanford University) and Jane Clarke (University of Cambridge). The eight laureates will receive their awards at the Society's 54th Annual Meeting on Monday, February 22, 2010 at the Moscone Convention and Exhibitions Centre in San Francisco, California.

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