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Proclamation 2004 Governor's Award for Excellence in Scientific Research.

The 2004 Governor's Award for Excellence in Scientific Research goes to Carolina Distinguished Professor John W. Baynes, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina.

Dr. Baynes received his Ph.D. in Physiological Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and conducted postdoctoral studies in Laboratory Medicine and Clinical Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, before moving to South Carolina in 1976. He received early promotion to Associate Professor in 1980, and became Full Professor in 1986.

Dr. Baynes has received numerous prestigious awards during his career at the University of South Carolina, including: a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (1982-87); The John Colwell Research Award from the South Carolina Affiliate of the American Diabetes Association in 1985, followed in 1986 by his appointment to a Chair as Carolina Distinguished Professor. In 1987 and again in 1997, Dr. Baynes won the Combined Basic and Clinical Science Research Award from our School of Medicine. In 1998, Dr. Baynes received the Russell Award in Science and Engineering, the University's most prestigious research award, and in 2000 he was the recipient of a University Trustees Professorship.

Dr. Baynes outstanding record of extramural funding places him among the top NIH-funded researchers in the country. He received three consecutive MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Awards from the NIH, for his research program on "Glycation of Protein in Diabetes." To receive this award once is an outstanding recognition for any biomedical scientist, but the sequence of a Career Development Award and three sequential MERIT awards constitutes a truly exceptional achievement.

Dr. Baynes has published over 100 original articles, in top-tier journals or in strong specialist journals in his field, and has mentored numerous Ph.D. and M.S. students, and postdoctoral fellows. His textbook (Medical Biochemistry, Baynes JW and Dominiczak MH, Harcourt, London, 1999) is now in the 5th printing of the 1st edition, over 25,000 copies of this text have been sold worldwide. It has been translated into Chinese (Taiwan), Greek, Italian and Portuguese, and the 2nd English edition is scheduled to appear in 2004-2005.

Dr. Baynes is internationally recognized for his work on the Maillard reaction, at the basis of protein modifications that lead to tissue damage in diabetes and aging. Dr. Baynes' research started with chemical studies of glucose-protein interactions, leading to an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms by which proteins are modified, and tissue damage ensues in diabetes, to culminate with the development of therapies for treatment of diabetic complications--an outstanding example of the translation of basic chemical research to clinical medicine. His work dramatically advanced our understanding of the molecular basis for the complications of diabetes, a disease that profoundly affects people in the USA, and South Carolinians in particular, and represents a tremendous scientific accomplishment, deserving of world-wide recognition.

Among Dr. Baynes' most prestigious administrative responsibilities is his role as Leader of the South Carolina Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (SC-BRIN). This program, funded in 2001 for three years for a total of $8,300,000 from the NIH, provides support and infrastructure for coordinating and networking research programs throughout South Carolina, and includes programs designed to fund research activities at South Carolina's 4-year institutions. Dr. Baynes just recently coordinated the submission of a competing renewal grant for the South Carolina IDeA Network for Biological Research Excellence (SC-INBRE), a $16,000,000 grant (2004-2000) for expansion of biomedical research in South Carolina. In his role as Leader of the SC-BRIN, Dr. Baynes has worked closely with the South Carolina Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (SC-EPSCoR) and the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA). He was recently nominated to be a Councilor of the South Carolina Academy of Sciences.
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Publication:Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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