(October 22, 2015) – The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $407,542 to Dr. Brent Feske, associate professor of chemistry and interim associate dean of the College of Science and Technology, and Georgia Institute of Technology Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Dr. Andreas Bommarius.
The three-year grant, titled “New Protein Function: Developing a Family of Amine Dehydrogenases,” will support research in the area of biocatalysis, a “green chemistry” technique. In this case, the project will delve into to the synthesis of pharmaceuticals.
“Typically biocatalysis uses water as a solvent instead of potentially toxic solvents, such as ether or benzene,” notes Feske. “This means that it is not only environmentally-friendly, but also much safer to work around when scaled up on an industrial level. It is also a more economically affordable approach than traditional routes.”
The award will enable Armstrong to fund several undergraduate students in individual research projects mentored by a faculty member through student summer salaries and research supply money, creating transformative experiences for undergraduate students who participate, says Feske. Students will also travel to regional and national meetings to present research findings with their faculty mentor and network with scholars and students from other institutions.
The NSF provides funding for research and education in most science and engineering fields to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the U.S. The foundation accounts for roughly one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.
The NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded.