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April 7, 2008

 

Trinity University Chemist Awarded Early Career Grant from National Science Foundation

 

Adam R. Urbach

SAN ANTONIO – Adam R. Urbach, assistant professor of chemistry at Trinity University, has been awarded a $564,500 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue his research involving the design of molecules that recognize and label specific peptides in aqueous solutions. The five-year grant is funded through the NSF's Faculty Early Career Development Program, which supports professors who are likely to become academic leaders in the 21st century.

 

Professor Urbach designs synthetic receptors for proteins and studies the processes by which biological molecules “find” one another. As part of the NSF’s Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Program, he will research compounds with broad impact on fields ranging from basic biochemistry to medical diagnostics and therapeutics.

 

As part of his research, Professor Urbach plans to develop an approach to modifying synthetic peptide receptors that will substantially accelerate the discovery process. The teaching portion of the project focuses on incorporating undergraduate and postdoctoral students in the research, and on improving the integration of teaching and research at Trinity, with a focus on writing and experimental design skills.

 

According to the NSF, the early career development program is a foundation-wide activity that offers prestigious awards in support of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their universities.

 

Professor Urbach’s research also has been supported by previous NSF grants as well as grants from The Welch Foundation, Research Corporation, and the American Chemical Society. In addition, he is the faculty advisor to the award-winning Trinity University chapter of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates.

 

He is the second Trinity chemist to be awarded the NSF early career grant. Bert D. Chandler, associate professor of chemistry at Trinity, received a similar award in 2005. His research focuses on catalytic technologies involving bimetallic nanoparticles.

 

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