Could snail venom replace addictive opioid painkillers?
A handful of University of Utah researchers for years have investigated the venom of marine snails and how it might be transformed into a safer alternative to opioid painkillers. Now, they have new backing to expand their research. The U. this week said it has received $10 million from the Department of Defense to further study cone snail venom and search for similar compounds from the venom of other marine organisms. Years from now, they hope, a synthetic version of the venom will become a substitute for drugs like morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone. “We’re going back to natural sources to find the next generation of pain drugs,” said Russell Teichert, a research associate professor in the Department of Biology.
2018 Willard Gibbs Medal
Cindy Burrows has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Willard Gibbs Medal of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society. This is one of the most prestigious honors in chemistry, its purpose "To publicly recognize eminent chemists who, through years of application and devotion, have brought to the world developments that enable everyone to live more comfortably and to understand this world better." Medalists are selected by a national jury of eminent chemists from different disciplines, the nominee being a chemist who, because of the preeminence of his/her work in and contribution to pure or applied chemistry, is deemed worthy of special recognition. This award has been given since 1911, and only one previous Utah chemist (Henry Eyring, 1968) has received it. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Burrows on this impressive recognition!
János Kollár Endows Lecturer in Mathematics
János Kollár, a Hungarian mathematician specializing in algebraic geometry and a former professor of mathematics at the University of Utah, is a co-recipient of the 2017 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences. Established in 2002 in Hong Kong, and first awarded in 2004, the Shaw Prize honors outstanding contributions in astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical sciences. Kollár has donated a significant portion of his half of the prize to the U’s Department of Mathematics to establish the János Kollár Endowed Assistant Professor Lecturer at the U. Kollár says he was motivated to make the gift because the U provided such excellent working conditions during the 12 years he was here at the beginning of his career, and because several of the results that the prize committee recognized were developed while he was at the U.
Physics & Astronomy
Faculty Spotlight: Gail Zasowski
For nearly 20 years, scientists and institutions around the world have been part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which has helped map millions of stars and galaxies and created some of the most detailed three-dimensional images of the universe.