Notre Dame Biochemist Patricia Clark receives the 2023 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award

Author: Brett Beasley

The Protein Society, the premier international society dedicated to supporting protein research, announced today that Patricia L. Clark, the Rev. John Cardinal O'Hara Professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is the recipient of the 2023 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award.

Named in honor of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, a Nobel laureate and founder of protein crystallography, the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award recognizes "exceptional contributions in protein science which profoundly influence our understanding of biology."

John T. McGreevy, the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History and Charles and Jill Fischer Provost at Notre Dame, said, "We are grateful to the Protein Society for recognizing Patricia Clark and her work. Her groundbreaking research has deepened our understanding of protein structures as well as protein folding-related diseases. Her mentorship and her ability to lead advancements in science that also serve the greater good are a powerful example for faculty, both at Notre Dame and elsewhere around the world."

Clark received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She joined the faculty at Notre Dame in 2001, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Clark is known for pioneering new techniques for analyzing protein folding. Her work investigates how and why protein folding mechanisms fail, leading to diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's disease, juvenile cataracts, and many forms of cancer. She collaborates extensively with computer scientists, statisticians, and computational biologists. The Hodgkin Award specifically acknowledges Clark’s pioneering discoveries regarding the contributions of the cellular environment, including the roles of synonymous codons, to support proper protein folding and function.

In 2018, Clark founded Notre Dame's graduate program in Biophysics, and in 2021 she was appointed associate vice president for research. She also supports biophysics education and research broadly at Notre Dame as director of the Biophysics Instrumentation Core (BIC) Facility, a core facility of Notre Dame Research.

Throughout her career, Clark has received many awards, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, the Barany Award from the Biophysical Society, and a Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her research is or has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and the W.M. Keck Foundation.

Clark will officially receive the award at the 37th Anniversary Symposium of the Protein Society on July 13 to 16, 2023, in Boston, Mass., where she will deliver a plenary lecture.

The previous winners of the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award are:

2022 — Sun Hur (Harvard University)

2021 — Janet Smith (University of Michigan)

2020 — Catherine Drennan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

2019 — Hao Wu (Harvard University)

2018 — Susan Marqusee (University of California, Berkeley)

2017 — Juli Feigon (UCLA) and Manajit Hayer-Hartl (Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry)

2016 — Rachel Klevit (University of Washington)

2015 — Eva Nogales (University of California, Berkeley)

2014 — Judith Frydman (Stanford University)

2013 — Christopher Hill (University of Utah) and Cynthia Wolberger (Johns Hopkins University)

2012 — Mark Lemmon (Yale University)

2011 — Brenda Schulman (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) and Wei Yang (National Institutes of Health)

2010 — Lila Gierasch (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

2009 — Janet Thornton (European Bioinformatics Institute)

2008 — Douglas Rees (California Institute of Technology)

2007 — Leemor Joshua-Tor (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)


Brett Beasley / Writer and Editorial Program Manager

Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame / +1 574-631-8183 / @UNDResearch

About Notre Dame Research:

The University of Notre Dame is a private research and teaching university inspired by its Catholic mission. Located in South Bend, Indiana, its researchers are advancing human understanding through research, scholarship, education, and creative endeavor in order to be a repository for knowledge and a powerful means for doing good in the world. For more information, please see or @UNDResearch.

Originally published by Brett Beasley at on March 22, 2023.