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Paul Savage to present annual chemistry lecture Sept. 9

Brigham Young University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has announced that Paul B. Savage, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the 2010 recipient of the Reed M. Izatt and James J. Christensen Faculty Excellence in Research Award.

Savage will be lecturing about his research on the stimulation and mimicry of the immune system Thursday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m. in W140 Ezra Taft Benson Building. The public is welcome to attend.

“We have developed a class of compounds that mimics the antibacterial activity of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) but is not peptide based,” Savage said. These AMPs are required in the body to control bacterial growth and are found in animals, plants and insects.   

Savage’s replacement compound would help the body defend itself against infections on the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and from medical devices.

“Currently, these AMP mimics are being tested in small and large animal studies, and it is anticipated that they will begin trials in humans in the near future,” said Savage, who is also conducting research that would help vaccines become more effective.

Reed M. Izatt and James J. Christensen, for whom the award is named, initiated a joint research program at BYU in chemical thermodynamics and chemical separation that attracted international recognition. Since 1957, more than 60 graduate students have received master’s or doctoral degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering under their direction.

For more information, contact Lynn Patten at (801) 422-4022.

Writer: Brandon Garrett

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