Irosha Nawarathne, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Lyon College, recently received a $33,228 summer research grant funded by the Arkansas IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) developmental research program.
The grant, supported by an exploratory grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH), will go toward student research into new medicine for multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), an organism that causes TB.
Nawarathne and students LaShawna Miller, ’19, Tanner Duty, ’18 and John Sifford, ’18 will use synthetic chemistry, spectroscopy, biochemistry and molecular biology to develop new rifampicin (RIF) like compounds to combat TB drug-resistance. Other students currently involved in the summer research program include Jordan Trant, ’19, Brian Bompous, ’18 and Natalie Milligan, ’18.
To date, Nawarathne has secured a total of over $120,000 in federal funds, including a summer research grant in 2016, competitive instrumentation award and supplemental instruction grant.
Funds from these grants have allowed student researchers to travel and present their accomplishments at regional and national conferences and become co-authors of peer-reviewed publications. They have also allowed the chemistry department to purchase a state-of-the-art Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer.
Students previously involved in the summer research program include Michael Gareth Stout, ’17, Shawn Howell, ’17, Samuel Brineman, ’17 and Will Staton, ‘17.
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