National Chemistry Week: Related Research by Pew Biomedical Scholars and Fellows

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Read about 1996 Pew scholar Kevan Shokat's discovery that a chemical in skin cream could slow Parkinson's disease.

This month, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was announced, directing global attention to the importance of chemical studies. The winners—Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel—were recognized for developing some of the first computer models for complex systems of molecules.

Pew biomedical scholars and Latin American fellows are currently making contributions to the changing face of chemistry, as well.

1996 Pew scholar Carolyn Bertozzi studies how biochemical structures called glycans behave on cell surfaces in various states of health and disease. As the T.Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, Bertozzi hopes to identify how arrangements of those structures can act as biomarkers for cancer.

2012 Latin American fellow Leonardo Boechi explores innovative ways to utilize computer simulations of the movements of atoms and molecules. As a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Andrew McCammon at the University of California, San Diego, he's fine-tuning the technology to understand how blood clots form—with the aim of being able to prevent them.

As the American Chemical Society celebrates National Chemistry Week on Oct. 20 to 26, these projects and others illuminate the importance of chemistry research for the advancement of human health.