Benjamin Cravatt is a Professor and the Norton B. Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. His research group is interested in developing chemical proteomic technologies that enable protein and drug discovery on a global scale and applying these methods to characterize proteins that play important roles in human physiology and disease, especially as pertains to the nervous system and cancer. Relying on a multidisciplinary approach using a range of chemical, biochemical, genetic, and pharmacological techniques the Cravatt group has developed proteomic technologies that directly exploit the power of chemistry to engender new tools and assays for the global analysis of enzyme activities with relevance to therapeutic targets. These activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) strategy constitutes unique molecular portraits of cells and tissues that illuminate how metabolic and signaling networks are regulated in vivo. ABPP can serve as a near-universal assay for the discovery of small-molecule inhibitors or ligands of proteins directly in native biological systems, thereby greatly expanding the scope of proteins that can be targeted by chemical probes and drugs. Notably, these basic discovery projects benefit from and provide a fertile testing ground for technological innovations. Through the integration of two complementary research programs, one dedicated to methods development for chemical proteomics, and the other to the characterization of key proteins and pathways, the Cravatt group achieves a unique balance that cultivates the creation and rapid implementation of cutting-edge technologies for the advancement of basic and translational science.
Dr. Cravatt obtained his undergraduate education at Stanford University, receiving a B.S. in the Biological Sciences and a B.A. in History. He then received a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in 1996 and subsequentl joined the faculty at TSRI in 1997. Dr. Cravatt is an Associate Editor for JACS and is a co-founder of Activx Biosciences, Abide Therapeutics, and Vividion Therapeutics. His honors include a Searle Scholar Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, a Cope Scholar Award, the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, the MERIT Award, National Cancer Institute; the ASBMB Merck Award, Outstanding Investigator Award, National Cancer Institute, the Sato Memorial International Award, Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, and memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences. Most recent awards include the Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery, EFMC, and the Outstanding Investigator Award, from the National Cancer Institute.