Neil Garg, the Kenneth N. Trueblood Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department, has been awarded a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award R35 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

The institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $2.8 million over five years to Garg’s laboratory, supporting his research on exploiting unconventional building blocks in chemical synthesis.

The Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award program supports investigators’ research programs through a single, unified grant, rather than individual project grants. The goal is to provide investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thereby enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs.

Garg’s laboratory focuses on the development of synthetic strategies and methods that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. The lab also explores new tools in chemical education that use modern technologies to improve the learning experience of undergraduate students.

In addition, Jorge Torres, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been awarded an NIH/NIGMS Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award of $1.95 million over five years for research focused on investigating the human cell division machinery. His laboratory will take multidisciplinary approaches to advance knowledge on enzymes and their mechanistic functions, which are critical for human cell division. This research will advance our understanding of how dysregulation of these enzymes can lead to human developmental and proliferative diseases.