June 7, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-Four Amherst College professors have received a $195,895 supplemental grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This grant supports a $239,472 NSF grant awarded in April of this year, bringing the total amount of funding for the collaborative project to $435,367.

The project, titled "Antibody Catalysts from Immunoglobin Repertoires of Enhanced Diversity," is overseen by chemistry professor David E. Hansen and his colleagues Richard A. Goldsby (biology), David I. Ratner (biology) and Patricia B. O'Hara (chemistry), and is intended to study alternative methods of increasing the efficiency of antibodies.

Under the supplemental funding, 10 undergraduate students per year will be able work on the project in collaboration with the four professors. Techniques in the fields of immunology, molecular biology, synthetic organic chemistry and fluorescence spectroscopy will be employed. The students will pursue their research full-time during the summer months, and will have the opportunity to work as research interns during the academic year.

The current grant funds research through August 31, 2001. This project began in September of 1999 and is expected to run through August of 2003.

The NSF is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest more than $3 billion a year in almost 20,000 research and education projects. Amherst College is currently using almost $2.5 million in such grants.