Emory Report
November 9, 2009
Volume 62, Number 10


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November 9, 2009
Biology, chemistry net funds for new faculty

By Carol Clark

Emory’s biology and chemistry departments have each won highly competitive National Institutes of Health grants for new faculty. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the grants total about $1 million each and will enable the two departments to expand key initiatives, despite the tough economy.

“It’s important to get the word out that good things are happening, even during a recession,” says David Lynn, chair of chemistry.

“Receiving even one of these grants would be significant. Getting two shows that the sciences at Emory College are continuing to build on a national reputation,” says Ron Calabrese, Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Biology.

Each grant will fund the salary of a faculty appointment and the start-up costs for their labs for two years.

Biology will use its award to hire a computational neuroscientist. The department already has one of the strongest groups of computational neuroscientists in the country, focused on the study of living neural networks through an interface with computer generated models. Much of the current work involves motor networks, and the department is particularly interested in expanding into sensory networks.

“This is a good time to hire, and with the grant funding we will be competitive with the best institutions for top talent,” Calabrese says.

Chemistry will seek a researcher who bridges disciplines in macromolecular design. “We want to build things anew, and further strengthen the connections between our drug discovery research, the Renewable Energy Center and the Center for Fundamental and Applied Molecular Evolution,” Lynn says.

“The increase in the number of students in the sciences during the past two years is staggering,” says Victor Corces, chair of biology. “We’re working hard to try and bring in more money, despite the economic downturn.” An intensive grant-writing effort by biology has also yielded a Grand Opportunity (GO) and a Challenge Project Grant, and more proposals are still out.