Medical biophysicist: Discovered the membrane transport protein P-glycoprotein
Dr Ling’s 1974 discovery of P-glycoprotein, which is encoded by the multidrug resistant gene (MDR) made him world famous. It is now known that P-glycoprotein is not only important clinically, as it confers multidrug resistance in many cancers, it also can protect the brain from poisonous substances. P-Glycoprotein is the first protein discovered in humans that belongs to a group of membrane transport proteins called the ATP Binding Cassette (ABC). ABC is very important in maintaining normal cell functions. Mutations in this group of proteins cause many well known diseases. One example is the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR), which is responsible for cystic fibrosis. Ling has won many international awards and is the only person in the world to have won both the Kettering and Steiner awards, the highest honours in cancer research.
Source: personal communication
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