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Grant will help UB chemist continue enzyme research


For years, UB Chemistry Professor John Richard has studied enzymes. Now, he has a new National Institutes of Health grant for $2 million over five years to continue his research.

"Enzymes are important in cancer, certainly in cancer cells," Richard explained.

"Cancer state is some time induced by turning on a particular enzyme activity. So if you can inhibit that enzyme activity, then you can sort of relieve cancer."

A key part of his new grant is to find other chemicals which can turn an enzyme on or off.

Richard, a SUNY distinguished professor of chemistry, says a major part of his research process is asking, "Why?"

"You have to be curious. To succeed in science you really need to be very, very, very curious and not willing to accept things at face value."

Richard will be teaming with collaborators from the Jacobs School of Medicine and scientists in Sweden and in Japan.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.