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Science/Technology

Grant will help UB chemist continue enzyme research

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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.