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Niko Loening Receives NIH AREA Award

September 27, 2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Dr. Niko Loening, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair, an additional $240,765 for his project, “Structural Studies and Characteristics of Neurotoxic Venom Peptides from Sicariidae Spiders.” The aim of this research is to discover interesting peptides and proteins from the venom of the brown recluse spider and its relatives, and to characterize the structure and function of these peptides and proteins. This project will build on previous work, which contributed to understanding patterns of molecular evolution of the toxins, by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to characterize toxin structures along with a variety of other methods to study their toxicity and method of action.  This grant, made possible by NIH’s Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Program, will provide three years of support for Dr. Loening’s research involving undergraduate students and collaborators at both Lewis & Clark College and in Australia. More information about Dr. Loening’s research is available at: http://legacy.lclark.edu/~loening/research.html (August 2012)

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