Benjamin Cravatt

Benjamin Cravatt, PhD, professor and Norton B. Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry at Scripps Research, has been honored with the Nessim-Habif World Prize as part of the University of Geneva’s Dies academicus ceremony. Cravatt is being recognized for his research in developing chemical proteomic technologies, which enable protein and drug discovery on a global scale.

Since the inaugural Nessim-Habif World Prize was given in 1963, the University of Geneva has annually granted these awards to academics “who illustrate, through particularly original and in-depth thinking and work, a field of exact, medical or human sciences.” Cravatt will be awarded with the prize by the academy’s Faculty of Sciences during this year’s Dies academicus ceremony, taking place on Friday, October 13, 2023, in Geneva. 

At Scripps Research, Cravatt has developed and applied new technologies that creatively bridged the fields of chemistry and biology to solve biomedical problems. This multidisciplinary approach enables him to study protein activity at a large scale and discover functions of many critical enzymes—as well as drug candidates targeting these proteins—including those linked to human cancers, neurological disorders and the endocannabinoid system. For example, in a recent Nature Chemical Biology study, Cravatt and his colleagues uncovered new cancer drug targets using base editing and chemical proteomics.

Cravatt is the recipient of numerous additional awards and honors, including a Searle Scholar Award, the Eli Lilly Prize in Biological Chemistry, a Cope Scholar Award, the ASBMB Merck Award, the RSC Jeremy Knowles Award, the AACR Award for Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. He is a member of the American Academies of Medicine and Sciences.