NIH Awards $1 Million For Biomed Chemistry Labs
By Jane Scheiber, College of Chemistry
The College of Chemistry has received a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for renovating laboratories used for biomedical research.
The federal funds will be matched by $1.5 million in university funds and College of Chemistry funds raised from the private sector, for a total budget of $2.5 million.
The funds have been awarded by NIH's National Center for Research Resources under an Extramural Research Facilities Construction initiative, which is designed to enhance biomedical and behavioral research by supporting the costs of expanding or renovating facilities for such research.
"We hope this grant will be the lead for a much broader initiative in synthetic chemistry into new and exciting areas of biomedical and materials research," said Bartlett, principal author of the grant proposal and chemistry department chair.
The award-winning project calls attention to the central role of organic synthesis and combinatorial chemistry as the foundation for medicinal chemistry and the discovery of new pharmaceuticals. From the inception of the pharmaceutical industry, organic chemistry has played the lead role in generating novel drug candidates - either by total synthesis or through modification of naturally occurring compounds - and in providing economical routes to the final products.
The central role of organic synthesis in pharmaceutical discovery has become even more apparent with the maturation of the biotech industry, since increased understanding of biological function at the molecular level has greatly enlarged the number of targets for drug discovery.
The grant will permit the modernization of approximately 5,000 square feet of laboratory space in Latimer Hall for chemistry professors Paul Bartlett, Carolyn Bertozzi, Jonathan Ellman and Clayton H. Heathcock.