James Paulson, professor of chemistry at Scripps Research.

James Paulson, PhD, the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Chair of Chemistry and Chair of Scripps Research’s Department of Molecular Medicine, has received both the 2022 Tamio Yamakawa Award from the Japan Consortium for Glycobiology and Glycotechnology (JCGG) and the inaugural 2023 Avadhesha Surolia Award from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

The Tamio Yamakawa Award recognizes Paulson for his seminal contributions to our understanding of how chains of sugar molecules called glycans are involved in viral infections and the immune system. This international award is presented every two years to a glycoscientist who has made a widely recognized and significant impact on the field of glycoscience. Similarly, the flagship Avadhesha Surolia Award is a one-of-its-kind prize in India that honors experts at the global level for excellence in glycobiology research.

Paulson focuses on the chemical biology of glycans and their role in immune cell signaling. Recent discoveries in his lab have led to a greater understanding of how glycan-binding receptor proteins regulate immune cell responses. Paulson’s lab has investigated how influenza viruses adapt to glycan receptors in the airway for infection and transmission in humans, and how glycans on the HIV envelope glycoprotein help inform the design of vaccine candidates.

The Tamio Yamakawa Award Lecture and ceremony will be held at the JCGG symposium in Tokyo, November 2023, while the Avadhesha Surolia Award will be honored with a prize lecture at the IISc during a three-day event in Bangalore, India.

Paulson is the recipient of several other prestigious awards throughout his career. These include the ACS Claude S. Hudson Award, the President’s Innovator Award, the ACS Melville L. Wolfrom Award, the Karl Meyer Award, the Bijvoet Medal and the United States EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Award. He is also an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and served as the Chair of the ACS Carbohydrate Chemistry division in 2013-2014, and President for the Society for Glycobiology from 2002 to 2003.