During his graduate and postdoctoral work with Harden McConnell at Stanford University, Wayne Hubbell used spin label technology to first describe the fluidity and fluidity gradient in biological membranes, landmark discoveries of broad impact in cell and membrane biology.
In 1970, he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley where his laboratory designed new surfactants, pioneered the molecular characterization of reconstituted membrane proteins, and developed a series of unique spin label probes to study membrane electrostatics.
In 1983, Prof. Hubbell moved his laboratory to UCLA where he became the first Jules Stein Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Soon after arriving, he combined unrelated technical advancements in molecular biology and EPR spectroscopy and pioneered the powerful new technology of site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) for the determination of structure and conformational dynamics in both soluble and membrane proteins.
For his development and application of SDSL, Prof. Hubbell has received numerous honors and awards including the Gold Medal of the International EPR/ESR Society, the International Zavoisky Award from the Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Bruker Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry-ESR Group, and the Elisabeth Roberts Cole from the Biophysical Society (US). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected to the first class of fellows of the Biophysical Society and recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Pécs, Hungary.