Reed Wickner
Reed B. Wickner is an American yeast
Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

A geneticist is a biologist who studies genetics, the science of genes, heredity, and variation of organisms. A geneticist can be employed as a researcher or lecturer. Some geneticists perform experiments and analyze data to interpret the inheritance of skills. A geneticist is also a Consultant or...

. In 1994 he proposed that the [PSI+] and [URE3] phenotype
A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior...

s in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast. It is perhaps the most useful yeast, having been instrumental to baking and brewing since ancient times. It is believed that it was originally isolated from the skin of grapes...

, a form of budding yeast, were caused by prion
A prion is an infectious agent composed of protein in a misfolded form. This is in contrast to all other known infectious agents which must contain nucleic acids . The word prion, coined in 1982 by Stanley B. Prusiner, is a portmanteau derived from the words protein and infection...

 forms of native protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

s. Specifically, the sup35p
Sup35p is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae eukaryotic translation release factor. More specifically, it is the yeast eukaryotic release factor 3 , which forms the translation termination complex with eRF1 . This complex recognizes and catalyzes the release of the nascent polypeptide chain when the...


Reed Wickner graduated from Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 with a B.A. degree in 1962. He then went to medical school at Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 and received his M.D. degree in 1966. He is currently (as of 2010) Chief of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics at the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

. His research interests pertain to prions and amyloid
Amyloids are insoluble fibrous protein aggregates sharing specific structural traits. Abnormal accumulation of amyloid in organs may lead to amyloidosis, and may play a role in various neurodegenerative diseases.-Definition:...

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