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New Grant Will Continue Hamilton Professor'sResearch


A Hamilton College chemistry professor hasreceived a $25,000 grant from the Petroleum Research Fund of the AmericanChemical Society to study an abundant copper-containing protein found in thebrains of mammals.

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

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

Timothy Elgren, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Assistant Professor ofChemistry at Hamilton, says the research he and his students will undertakethis summer and next also has the potential of shedding light on other copperproteins -- 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, whichanalyzes the role copper plays in the degradation of neurotransmitters in thebrain. The recipient of a bachelor's degree from Hamline University in 1984and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1989, Elgren joined the Hamilton facultyin 1993.

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