The NSF award to John Hopkins University will be utilized to redesign and completely renovate facilities for the Biochemistry Department in the School of Hygiene and Public Health, east Baltimore, MD. The School, the first public health school in the Unites States, offers multiple programs in the basic biological and environmental sciences and provides leadership in biochemical and biotechnological research and education. The Biochemistry department is oriented towards studies of fundamental biological problems which are carried out at the interface of biology and chemistry. Fundamental chemical, biochemical, molecular biological, structure, biophysical and genetic approaches are stressed in order to understand the mechanisms of biological processes in experimentally-accessible systems. NSF support will be matched with institutional funds to redesign and renovate decaying laboratories on three floors of the Hygiene building, the core of which was constructed in 1926. Building additions were constructed in 1963 and 1968. The original building was last renovated approximately 40 years ago; the additions have not been renovated since construction. The three-year renovation project will correct research space which is poorly configured in very small laboratories, inhibiting spontaneous interactions, communication and intellectual exchange among researchers. Centralized instrumentation rooms facilities will be constructed. Ten additional chemical fume hoods, a cold room, and vented solvent cabinets will be installed, as will new casework, including benchtops which are resistant to concentrated acids and bases, organic solvents, and radioactive fluids. The renovations will have immediate impact on the ten current faculty and will be a major resource in attracting two new faculty. The new laboratories will facilitate more training opportunities for graduate students, as bench space will be greatly increased through the redesign effort. Over the next f ive years, the department will have 65 graduate students, 50 postdoctoral fellows and 15 undergraduates who will be part of a critical mass of researchers working in the area of enzyme mechanisms and protein structure and function -- areas critical to leadership in the next stage of biotechnology.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
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Sherrie B. Green
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Johns Hopkins University
United States
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