University of Rochester scientist Eric T. Kool, assistant professor of chemistry, has received a Cyanamid Faculty Award from American Cyanamid Company and will receive $5,000 toward his research.
Kool studies the chemistry and structure of RNA and DNA, the genetic blueprint that governs much of an organism's development. Scientists are rapidly determining the sequence of genes that a strand of DNA carries, but ideas about how to apply that information are only now beginning to emerge. One area that Kool is investigating is how to design synthetic DNA-like molecules that could bind with strands of RNA or DNA and prevent harmful or defective genes from hurting the organism. For example, Kool has recently designed novel circular DNA molecules that are being studied as potential treatments for diseases such as cancer or AIDS. Kool is also designing molecules that are able to bind to more than one DNA sequence by changing shape.
During the last two years Kool has received a string of awards, including a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and a Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award. tr