Professor Stephen Benkovic ForMemRS

Stephen J. Benkovic is the Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and holder of the Eberly Chair in Chemistry at Penn State. Benkovic received degrees in chemistry and English literature from Lehigh University, and his PhD from Cornell in organic chemistry.

He is a pioneer in bioorganic chemistry whose work has impacted our understanding of how proteins function as catalysts. His recent studies have focused on DNA replication by T4 phage, DNA translesion bypass by human repair polymerases; the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme catalytic cycle described in terms of orchestrated protein conformations; the purinosome responsible for de novo purine biosynthesis; and benzoxaboroles as a new class of pharmacophores.

Benkovic has been recognized by: the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, the Alfred Bader Award in Bio-Organic Chemistry, the National Academy of Science Award in Chemical Sciences, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama. He holds memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Professional position

  • Evan Pugh University Professor and Eberly Chair in Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Penn State University

Subject groups

  • Chemistry

    Chemistry, biological, Chemistry, organic

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology

    Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology, Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences

    Pharmacology (non-clinical)

  • Health and human sciences

    Molecular medicine