Prof. Lewis E. Kay
Lewis Kay is Professor of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Chemistry at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. He received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Yale University in 1988, pursuant to which he spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow in Chemical Physics at the NIH. Appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in 1992, he was promoted to Professor three years later.
Professor Kay’s research cuts across the interface of physical chemistry and medical sciences. His work focuses on transforming the techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as applied to the study of large proteins and their complexes, in particular those that are involved in health and disease. NMR methods established by Professor Kay now allow for the study of protein complexes in the one million Da molecular weight range. He has applied these techniques to study the proteasome, the nucleosome, p97, and protein machines involved in disaggregation that serve as critical targets for drug discovery. In addition, Professor Kay has developed and advanced NMR methods used to study protein dynamics and how these dynamic properties change upon ligand binding or folding.
In related accomplishments, Professor Kay has improved methods to study protein folding, and has applied these new techniques to study protein aggregation in numerous disease-related systems. His research has led to a reliable framework by which to explore sparsely-populated, transiently-formed conformations of proteins that are implicated in protein function and disease. He now applies this methodology to a wide spectrum of protein systems.