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Basic Research to Shed Light on Cancer, Birth Defects   Researcher Aims for Faster, More Accurate Drug Discovery   U.Va. Research Inspires New Diagnostics Company
Daniel Foltz, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, received a FEST Distinguished Young Investigator Grant for an in-depth study of the centromere—a locus of control that appears on each chromosome and that helps to regulate cell division and chromosome segregation. As the recent H1N1 (swine) flu scare has reminded the world, it’s critical to find new drugs that treat all of the potential mutations of a virus. But drug discovery is an arduous and expensive process. Michael Shirts, assistant professor of chemical engineering, aims to simplify drug design through the use of advanced computing methods. While conducting research in Tanzania and Bangladesh a number of years ago, Dr. Eric Houpt, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Virginia, saw an opportunity to improve the diagnosis of intestinal infections.

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