ACS: The Imperiali Code

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The Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry symposium given this afternoon in the Division of Organic Chemistry recognized and honored the outstanding research accomplishments of Barbara Imperiali of MIT, in addition to featuring fantastic talks from Virginia Cornish, Ben Cravatt, and Dennis Dougherty.

Professor Dougherty of Caltech recounted a very amusing but quite helpful trick taught to him by Professor Imperiali (from her days as a professor at Caltech) for remembering the 1-letter amino acid code of tryptophan, W, which is to think of “twyptophan” (as if you were Elmer Fudd). Now I know I will never have future trouble remembering what “W” stands for!

I wish I had a trick for remembering the 1-letter codes of glutamine and glutamic acid (I’m Googling this as I write, I’m embarrassed to say, since I honestly can’t remember which is which!). Does anyone have any helpful tips for remembering these or any of the 1-letter amino acid codes? Please share!

Allison Doerr (Assistant Editor, Nature Methods)

Allison Doerr

Chief Editor, Nature Methods, Springer Nature

Allison has been an editor with Nature Methods since 2005, and chief editor since November 2018. She has been responsible for all areas of biochemistry for the journal, including structural biology and proteomics. Prior to her editorial career, she completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Princeton University, where she studied de novo protein design and protein-ligand interactions using NMR spectroscopy.