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John C. Malone Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and Professor of Chemistry, of Pharmacology, and of Management at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Craig M. Crews is a pioneer in the field of controlled protein degradation. His early research, which was focused on blocking the cell’s protein degradation machinery, led to an FDA-approved drug used to treat multiple myeloma. More recently, Craig M. Crews conceived and demonstrated proof-of-concept of an entirely new approach to control protein levels in cells: the so-called PROTAC technology (PROTteolysis TArgeting Chimera). PROTACs activate a cell’s quality control system to target disease-causing proteins for degradation, paving the way for entirely new treatment options for various diseases. The first PROTACs are already in clinical trials by the Yale-based company Arvinas, which Craig M. Crews founded a few years ago. They target the androgen and estrogen receptors in patients with metastatic prostate and breast cancer.