Stephen J. Benkovic

Stephen James Benkovic
Born (1938-04-20) April 20, 1938
Orange, New Jersey
Alma mater Lehigh University, Cornell University, University of California, Santa Barbara
Awards National Medal of Science (2010)
NAS Award in Chemical Sciences (2011)
Scientific career
Fields mechanistic enzymology, biochemistry
Institutions Penn State University
Academic advisors Thomas C. Bruice

Stephen James Benkovic (born April 20, 1938) is an American chemist. He is Evan Pugh Professor and Eberly Chair in Chemistry at Penn State University.[1] His research has focused on mechanistic enzymology and the discovery of enzyme inhibitors.[2] He was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1985.[3][4]


Early life and education

Benkovic was born in Orange, New Jersey. He earned his B.S. degree in chemistry and an A.B. degree in English literature from Lehigh University in 1960. He earned his Ph.D in organic chemistry from Cornell University in 1963.[5]


Benkovic was a postdoc at University of California, Santa Barbara. There he and his advisor Thomas C. Bruice developed bioorganic textbooks that focused on enzyme catalysis. He joined the chemistry department at Penn State University in 1965. There, he uses the T4 DNA polymerase as a model system to explain the proficiency of enzymes.[5] He also uses the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase and the pathway for de novo purine biosynthesis to gain insights into enzymatic catalysis.

Awards and distinctions


  1. "Benkovic Lab". Benkovic Lab. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  2. "Stephen Benkovic honored". Huck Institute. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "Stephen Benkovic Receives Hirschmann Award". The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  4. 1 2 Kresge, Nicole; Robert D. Simoni; Robert L. Hill (29 October 2009). "Investigations of the Inner Workings of T4 Polymerase: the Work of Stephen J. Benkovic" (PDF). The Journal of Biological Chemistry. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. 284 (42): e17–318.
  5. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
  6. "Chemical Pioneer Award". American Institute of Chemists. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  7. "Stephen J. Benkovic". Penn State Department of Chemistry. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  8. "2009 Franklin Institute Awards". The Franklin Institute. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  9. "President Obama awards chemists National Medals of Science & Technology & Innovation". American Chemical Society. November 16, 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  10. "National Academy of Sciences: 2011 NAS Award Recipients". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
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