Dr. Vernon N. Reinhold wins 2015 Rosalind Kornfeld Award

The Society for Glycobiology is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2015 Rosalind Kornfeld Award is awarded to Dr Vernon N. Reinhold. The Rosalind Kornfeld Award for Lifetime Achievement in Glycobiology was established in 2008 to honor the distinguished scientific career and service to the Society by Dr. Rosalind Kornfeld. The award is given by the Society to scientists who have, over their professional lifetimes, made significant contributions with important impact on the field.

Dr. Vernon N. Reinhold (Research Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences and Director of the Glycomics Center at the University of New Hampshire). After serving his country in the U.S. Naval Seabees, Vern took advantage of the G.I. Bill to achieve both a B.S. degree in Chemistry and an M.S. degree in Biochemistry at the University of New Hampshire, remarkably without ever attending a formal high school. He pursued his Ph.D. in Donald Melville's laboratory at the University of Vermont Medical School and obtained his degree in 1965. After a brief initial post-doctoral fellowship at the Brookhaven National Energy Laboratory, Vern turned his attention to the chemistry and structure of glycoconjugates. With a Helen-Hay Whitney fellowship, Vern studied the chemistry of carbohydrates with Roger Jeanloz at the Harvard Medical School and the structure of carbohydrates by mass spectrometry across the street at MIT with Klaus Biemann, who has been called the "father of organic mass spectrometry". Vern would stay on at Harvard for the next ~25 years developing cutting-edge mass spectrometry-based approaches for elucidating carbohydrate structures. Following his work at other institutions, he landed back at the University of New Hampshire in the late 1990's where he still serves as a Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, as well as the Director of the Glycomics Center.

In his early work at Harvard, using a combination of fast atom bombardment (FAB) and chemical ionization, he was able to make pioneering progress in defining oligosaccharides from bacteria and mammalian samples with a variety of collaborators. In the early 90's, he quickly recognized the power of electrospray ionization and brought it to bear on the analysis of glycosaminoglycans, N-/O-linked glycans, and glycosphingolipids from multiple sources. During the late 90's, however, Vern really made his mark on the field by the utilization of ion-trap mass spectrometers capable of MSn fragmentation. He quickly realized the power of analyzing permethylated glycans by such approaches and pioneered the MSn approach for determining sequence, topology, linkage, and branching of glycans. His devotion to this approach moved the field from composition with minimal topology to highly defined glycan structural elucidation. His three back-to-back-to back manuscripts in Analytical Chemistry in 2005 have become required reading for all interested in elucidation of glycan structures by mass spectrometry.

In addition to his pioneering and continuing work in the elucidation of glycan structures by mass spectrometry, Vern has been an active and vocal proponent of the glycobiology field. He has previously served as President of the Society (1999) and is the Founder of the International Charles Warren Workshop on Glycoconjugate Analysis that meets semi-annually. Vern's research has been funded by many mechanisms, and he is currently a member of one of the NHLBI Programs of Excellence in Glycosciences.  Vern is still actively pushing the boundaries of mass spectrometry in the dissection of glycan structures. As one of the leading figures in glycan structural elucidation for the last half century, he is highly deserving of the Rosalind Kornfeld Award for Lifetime Achievement in Glycobiology.