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NSF Grant to Fund Study of Proteins

Stylianos P. Scordilis, professor of biological sciences, recently received a $471,813
grant from the National Science Foundation to support research in the area
of proteomics, the branch of genetics that studies the full set of proteins
encoded by a genome. The funding will enable Smith to purchase a mass
spectrometer and an electrophoresis system, instruments that give
researchers the ability to separate, and completely and precisely identify
proteins in complex mixtures from whole cell, tissue or organism extracts.
Research projects using this technology are those that require the isolation
of incredibly small amounts of materials, such as explorations of the
gender differences in exercise-induced muscle growth and damage; and the
adhesion of bacteria to cells that cause urinary tract infections. The grant
will also add the position of Instrumentation and Techniques Instructor to
the Center for Biochemistry, to facilitate the teaching and research uses of
the new technology. Members of the scientific community will be able to learn
about the new technology through the newly-designed Molecular Biosciences
Methods course. "The new technologies and personnel in the Center for
Biochemistry will help position Smith students and faculty to contribute at
a national scale to some of the most pressing scientific and public health
issues of our times," said Scordilis. "It will provide the perfect medium in
which to train a new generation of women scientists in state-of-the-art
proteomics technologies."

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