Dr. Randy Schekman is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. Among his awards are the Gairdner International Award, the Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research, and the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with James Rothman and Thomas Südhof. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, a Foreign Associate of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, a Foreign Associate of the Royal Society of London, and an Honorary Academician of the Academia Sinica. In 1999, he was elected President of the American Society for Cell Biology. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Annual Reviews of Cell and Developmental Biology, PNAS, and eLife. Beginning in 2019, Dr. Schekman is leading an effort supported by the Sergey Brin Family Foundation on Parkinson’s Disease initiation and progression (https://parkinsonsroadmap.org).
Dr. Schekman’s laboratory investigates the mechanism of membrane protein traffic in the secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells. His approach began with a genetic and biochemical dissection of the secretory pathway in S. cerevisiae. His lab discovered the genes and proteins that assemble proteins into the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, package proteins into coated transport vesicles and fuse to a target membrane. The evolutionary conservation of the pathway discovered in Dr. Schekman’s lab encouraged the biotechnology industry to use yeast as a platform for the production of clinically important human secreted proteins. In recent years his lab has turned from yeast to mammalian cell culture to investigate aspects of human physiology and disease that are not readily studied in yeast.