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2 University of Illinois researchers named HHMI investigators
Date:5/28/2008

roduce a class of antibiotic agents.

Van der Donk also is a member of a related research theme at the Institute for Genomic Biology: Mining Microbial Genomes for Novel Antibiotics.

Although hes intensely focused on this fundamental research, which he calls an arms race with the microbes, van der Donk is equally committed to inspiring students in both the classroom and the laboratory to become excited about science, HHMI officials wrote in announcing the award.

Wilfred van der Donk is one of the countrys leading chemical biologists, said Illinois chemistry department head Steven Zimmerman. He combines a sharp eye for critical problems with a deeply analytical and creative mind that produces unique solutions. The HHMI award will give him the freedom to tackle some very important and challenging problems already under way in his laboratory, such as developing new antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections.

He will also be able to initiate new projects in the area of cell biology, with one project potentially offering new insights into the malaria life cycle in human cells, Zimmerman said. Wilfred is all around an outstanding teacher, scholar and colleague always ready to help and with outstanding judgment and standards.

The HHMI supports the scientists themselves rather than focusing on a particular line of research. This gives HHMI investigators the freedom to explore and, if necessary, change the direction of their research. The multi-year support also allows them to follow their ideas through to fruition even if it takes them many years.


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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