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News Briefs

For immediate use

Sept. 21, 2006 -- No. 441


Three at UNC receive top awards
from American Chemical Society

Three UNC-Chapel Hill chemists have won top awards from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to their fields.

Dr. James W. Jorgenson, William Rand Kenan Jr. professor of chemistry, will receive the society's highest award in analytical chemistry. Jorgenson is the fourth UNC chemist to win the award. Jorgenson pioneered the chemical separation technique capillary electrophoresis in the 1980s. Capillary gel electrophoresis was the breakthrough technology that allowed the human genome to be sequenced years ahead of schedule.

Michael Ramsey, Minnie N. Goldby distinguished professor of chemistry, will receive the top award in chromatography. Ramsey helped create the concept of performing lab tests on tiny silicon, glass or plastic chips. "Lab-on-a-chip" technology could result in diagnostic tests that cost less and involve less blood work. The technology is being utilized by industry - biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, in particular - for genomics, proteomics, drug discovery and clinical diagnostics.

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, William Rand Kenan Jr. distinguished professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at UNC and North Carolina State University, received the Henry F. Whalen Jr. Award for Business Development. The award recognizes DeSimone's ability to identify market needs, develop novel technologies to address those needs and transfer that technology from the laboratory to viable commercial businesses. DeSimone is co-principal investigator for the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. He also is director of the new UNC Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Technology.


Computing Research Association to spearhead
new leadership consortium for computing

The National Science Foundation has announced an agreement with the Computing Research Association (CRA) to establish a consortium of computing experts to provide scientific leadership and vision on issues related to computing research and future large-scale computing research projects.

"We're pleased that NSF has charged our organization with establishing the consortium," said Dr. Daniel A. Reed, chair of the Computing Research Association, UNC-Chapel Hill vice chancellor for information technology and director of the Renaissance Computing Institute.

Under the three-year, $6 million agreement, CRA will create a Computing Community Consortium to identify major research opportunities and establish "grand challenges" for the field.

"Computing research continues to fuel the innovations that drive economic productivity," Reed said. "We see the consortium as a mechanism that will enable continued innovation by enhancing our community's ability to envision and pursue long-term, audacious computing research goals."
Reed also serves on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a group of national leaders in business, research and education who advise the president on science and technology research priorities.


Ramsden receives Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society Scholar Award for 2006

Dr. Dale Ramsden, assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the UNC School of Medicine and a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher, has won the 2006 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Career Development Scholar Award. Career development scholars are highly qualified investigators who have shown a capacity for independent, sustained original investigation in the field of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Scholars are expected to hold independent faculty-level or equivalent positions and to have obtained substantial support for their research from a national agency. Scholar awards are $110,000 per year for five years.


Strahl named 2006 recipient
of Jefferson-Pilot Award

Dr. Brian Strahl, assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the UNC School of Medicine, has been named a 2006 Jefferson-Pilot Fellow by the UNC School of Medicine. The annual award is given to promising junior faculty to explore new ideas in research, teaching or clinical treatment. The active term is four years and the recipient receives $20,000. Strahl's research focuses on chromatin biochemistry and gene regulation. Chromatin, a complex of nucleic acids and proteins, binds DNA into higher-order structures, ultimately forming a chromosome.


UNC Kidney Center receives grant
for membranous glomerulopathy study

Investigators at the UNC Kidney Center have received a $151,733 grant from the Halpin Foundation to support research on membranous glomerulopathy, a kidney disease. The disease affects glomeruli - filters that remove toxins from the blood - and damages the membrane that separates blood from urine.

The grant will support a case-control study to evaluate the role of environmental factors, occupational exposures and family medical history in the development of membranous glomerulopathy. Dr. Susan L. Hogan, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine's division of nephrology and hypertension, will serve as principal investigator. "This research will provide insights into what might trigger membranous glomerulopathy, which is critical given that there is no known cause for the disease," Hogan said.

Patients for the study will be recruited through the Glomerular Disease Collaborative Network, which includes kidney specialists at UNC and throughout the southeastern U.S.


Photo URLs:
Dr. Joseph DeSimone:
Dr. James Jorgenson:
Mr. Michael Ramsey:
Dr. Daniel Reed:
Dr. Brian Strahl:

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