The H.G.K.Westenbrink prize 2016/2017 has been awarded to Dr. Lotteke Swier for her thesis "On the transport mechanism of energy-coupling factor transporters" (promotor: Prof. dr. D.J. Slotboom en Prof. dr. B. Poolman, University of Groningen).
Dr. Swier’s PhD work is a multidisciplinary study of energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporters, part of the ABC transporter-family, in which she combined biochemistry, structural biology and organic chemistry. She determined crystal structures of membrame-embedded ECF transporter with and without substrate, allowing her to decipher the molecular mechanism of transport. She used this knowledge to design and synthesize new substrates that modulate ECF transporter activity, which will very valuable in the development of new antibiotics. Dr. Swier is currently working as a postdoc in the oncology research group of Anke van den Berg at the University Medical Centre Groningen.
The H.G.K. Westenbrink prize was established by the Stichting Stimulering Biochemie Nederland (SSBN) and is awarded each year to the best thesis in the area of biochemistry and molecular biology in the previous academic year.The prize includes a charter and € 2.000, which are handed out during the fall symposium of the NVBMB.