Dr. Hudson Freeze wins 2016 Rosalind Kornfeld Award

The Society for Glycobiology is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Rosalind Kornfeld Award is awarded to Dr. Hudson Freeze. The Rosalind Kornfeld Award 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 made significant contributions with an important impact on the field of Glycobiology over their professional lifetimes.

Dr. Hudson Freeze (Professor, Sanford Children's Health Research Center and Director of the Human Genetics Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, CA) began his formal scientific career as a graduate student with William Loomis at UCSD, where he applied genetics and analytical chemistry to study the polysaccharide-rich surface sheath of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. His interest in carbohydrates was further fostered as a postdoc with Arnie Miller at UCSD by his investigation of the glycosylation of lysosomal hydrolases in Dictyostelium. With his newfound curiosity in sugars prevailing over prospects of a professional acting career, Hud migrated to the laboratory of Stuart Kornfeld at Washington University to explore the mammalian side of the budding field of N-glycosylation of lysosomal hydrolases. Resisting the temptation to pursue a career in medicine, Hud continued his work in Dictyostelium as an independent investigator. Ultimately his early insights into mammalian glycobiology led him to investigate the congenital disorders of glycosylation, a focus that has defined his major scientific contribution. Today, Hud's lab at the SBP Medical Discovery Institute is the only one in the US that is fully dedicated to the study of CDGs. Over his career in the CDG field, his laboratory has been responsible for the identification of 18 new CDGs. Before the advent of whole exome sequencing, many of these defects were solved in Hud's lab "the old fashioned way" – with thoughtful and exhaustive biochemistry on patient-derived cells. A major impact of this work has been a new appreciation and understanding of the factors influencing glycosylation such as Golgi trafficking proteins (COGs), ER-associated complexes (TRAP subunits), lipid and dolichol metabolism enzymes (SRD5A3), and glycosidases (NGY1). His lab also made contributions to the treatment of CDGs via sugar supplementation, the generation and analysis of CDG animal models, the study of mechanisms that drive carbohydrate-dependent protein-losing enteropathy and the function of carboxylated N-glycans. Hud has authored or co-authored over 200 journal articles, 40 book chapters, 30 reviews and 20 methods papers related to the identification and characterization of CDGs, the pathogenesis and treatment of these diseases, the role of metabolic flux in glycosylation and the identification of biomarkers for glycosylation disorders. Several of these papers appear in top journals such as Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Cell. He also was a key contributor to the textbook, Essentials of Glycobiology.

Hud has been PI or co-PI on several grants from NIH and other public and private agencies. He has also received a number of awards over the years in recognition of his outstanding science.  In 2013, he received the Golden Goose Award, along with his mentor at the time, Thomas Brock, for their discovery of the thermophile, Thermus aquaticus (Taq), when Hud was just an undergraduate researcher. In the glycobiology community, Hud has been an exceptional contributor and role model. He has organized or co-organized more than 10 meetings in the last 25 years, including the Glycobiology Gordon Research Conference and a highly successful joint meeting between the Society for Glycobiology and American Society for Matrix Biology in 2012.  More recently, he has chaired and organized the SBP Rare Disease Day Symposium, an outstanding platform for investigators working on rare diseases including CDGs. Hud has served on numerous grant review panels, editorial boards and scientific advisory boards. This year, he represents the Society for Glycobiology as president of FASEB, a major advocacy group for life sciences research in the USA. His lobbying efforts have helped secure increases in the NIH budget, whose benefits extend far beyond glycoscience to all areas of biomedical research.

Aside from his advocacy for our field, Hud has been a hero for the CDG community, taking a personal approach with both the patients and their families. These efforts have brought him full circle back to his love of medicine by providing molecular diagnoses for the affected kids and support for them beyond the laboratory with his advocacy for rare disease research. His achievements - along with his efforts for the CDG families, and his tireless service to the Society and scientific community - make him an ideal choice for the Rosalind Kornfeld award.

¹To whom correspondence should be addressed: email [email protected].
²Stuart Haslam, Richard Steet, and Christopher West are acknowledged for their contributions to these essays.