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Chemistry professor receives $220,000 grant from National Science Foundation

September 17, 2014

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Professor of Chemistry Louis Kuo has been awarded a $220,116 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of his research on the degradation of organophosphates, neurotoxins that are used pervasively as agricultural pesticides. 

Lewis & Clark undergraduates, high school students, and a teacher from Lake Oswego High School will join Kuo in inquiry-based activities including organic synthesis, chemical catalysis, and computational and phosphorus chemistry. While promoting teaching and learning, this project will also help guide the development of new molybdenum-based materials and strategies in order to reduce these neurotoxins in a safe and practical manner.

“I am pleased to be able to involve high school students and a high school teacher through summer research,” Kuo said. “This collaboration will impact STEM education and potentially contribute to greater interest by students in sustainable environmental chemistry.”

The three-year project, “Combating Organophosphate Pesticides With New Molybdenum-Based Catalysts in Water,” is supported by the Environmental Chemical Sciences and Research in Undergraduate Institutions programs in the NSF’s Division of Chemistry.

Kuo has been researching the degradation of organophosphates for more than two decades. Read about his previous work and its potential applications for chemical warfare in this article for the Chronicle.

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