Steve Sprang 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award Recipient

Steve Sprang, professor in the Division of the Biological Sciences and co-director of the CBSD, receives the 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award

Congratulations, Steve!

 UM President Seth Bodnar announced on April 2, 2021 that Professor Steve Sprang has been selected to receive the UM 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award for his exceptional contributions to the University of Montana. The Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of research, creativity, or other scholarly activities. Professor Sprang will receive the award in a virtual ceremony during the UM Week of Excellence on April 20-22 (UM Week of Excellence – Award Winners), Steve's recognition ceremony will take place Wednesday, April 21st at 12:00 (noon).  If you are interested in showing your support for Steve, you can sign up to attend the Ceremony Webinar by Registering Here!

 Klara Briknarova, who nominated Professor Sprang for the award, noted that “Steve was such an obvious choice. He is a renowned protein crystallographer. He made significant contributions to understanding of the molecular basis of signal transduction, and just last year his group determined a beautiful new structure of a guanine nucleotide exchange factor in action, a culmination of many years of research effort. And he has been essential for the growth of the structural biology and biophysics research community here at the UM, making structural biology accessible to all. I feel very grateful to have a colleague like Steve.”

 Bruce Bowler, who also supported Professor Sprang’s nomination, pointed out that “throughout his career, Steve has made seminal contributions to our understanding of signal transduction processes. His work on heterotrimeric G-proteins is routinely referenced in college-level Biochemistry textbooks. He has published over 135 scientific papers, with cumulative citations approaching 18,000. More than 20 of these papers have been published in Science or Nature. Since arriving at the University of Montana in 2007, his publications have averaged around 600 citations per year. Beyond his exceptional abilities as a scientist, Steve strives to create a milieu where his colleagues also can excel as evidenced by the number of scientists at all career stages whom he has mentored through the Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics NIH COBRE center he has led for the majority of his time at UM. Steve is not only a world-class researcher, but also an exceptional human being. He is most deserving of the distinguished scholar award.”

 Thank you, Steve, for all that you do for the CBSD and the University of Montana!