> The operation was carried out by a team led by Dr Xiaoping Ren, who last year successfully grafted a head onto the body of a monkey.
> Prof Canavero, said: "The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done. A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage.
> "And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent.
2017 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize Recipient
"For theories of topological order and its consequences in a broad range of physical systems."
Alexei Kitaev, Ph.D., graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (Russia) in 1986 having worked with quasicrystals. He did his doctoral studies at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics (Chernogolovka, Russia) under the supervision of Valery Pokrovsky, Ph.D., receiving his Ph.D. in 1989. Dr. Kitaev is currently the Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena). Dr. Kitaev is the recipient of the 2008 MacArthur “Genius” Award, the 2012 Fundamental Physics Prize, and the 2015 Dirac Medal. Dr. Kitaev’s most cited work was the idea of topological quantum computation, namely, that quantum information can be protected from errors by encoding it in a many-body system with nontrivial topological properties. The original scheme was based on anyons, but later Dr. Kitaev proposed the use of Majorana modes. He devised and studied a few exactly solvable quantum models, including the Majorana chain and a system of spins on the honeycomb lattice. He also proposed the mathematical classification of topological insulators and superconductors using Bott periodicity. Dr. Kitaev is currently working on another model of interacting fermions, which exhibits emergent behavior similar to quantum gravity.
2017 Selection Committee Members: Catherine Kallin (Chair), Eva Andrei (Vice-Chair), Clare Yu, Charles Kane (2012 Recipient), William Halperin
Psilocybin is the psychotropic tryptamine-derived natural product of Psilocybe carpophores, the so-called "magic mushrooms". Although its structure has been known for 60 years, the enzymatic basis of its biosynthesis has remained obscure. We characterized four psilocybin biosynthesis enzymes. These include i) PsiD which represents a new class of fungal l-tryptophan decarboxylases, ii) PsiK, that catalyzes the phosphotransfer step, iii) the methyl transferase PsiM, catalyzing iterative N-methyltransfer as terminal biosynthetic step, and iv) PsiH, a monooxygenase. In a combined PsiD/PsiK/PsiM reaction, psilocybin was synthesized enzymatically in a step-economic route from 4-hydroxy-l-tryptophan. Given the renewed pharmaceutical interest in psilocybin, our results may lay the foundation for its biotechnological production.