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New Grant Will Continue Hamilton Professor's Research

By staff  |  Contact staff
Posted April 4, 1997
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A Hamilton College chemistry professor has received a $25,000 grant from the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society to study an abundant copper-containing protein found in the brains of mammals.

The grant supports summer research stipends for students and the purchase of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

Since increased levels of copper are associated with people suffering from Parkinson's Disease, scientists believe that understanding the chemistry of the copper-containing protein being studied at Hamilton may lead to greater understanding of the disease.

Timothy Elgren, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Hamilton, says the research he and his students will undertake this summer and next also has the potential of shedding light on other copper proteins -- of which there are many in mammals -- moving forward scientists' understanding of the biological role of copper.

This grant represents the third made in support of Elgren's work, which analyzes the role copper plays in the degradation of neurotransmitters in the brain. The recipient of a bachelor's degree from Hamline University in 1984 and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1989, Elgren joined the Hamilton faculty in 1993.

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