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NC State Chemist Awarded $2.4M for Research on Bioactive Natural Products

Joshua Pierce works in his lab

NC State chemist Joshua Pierce has received a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate synthesis and chemical biology of bioactive natural products.

The grant was made as part of the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award program of the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The program aims to provide researchers with greater stability and flexibility in an effort to enhance scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs.

Pierce’s project will study natural products that have potential to be employed as novel treatments for human disease. The research team is developing novel chemical reactions for complex molecule synthesis and applying these reactions and strategies to bioactive natural products for biological study. This work could lead to a framework for the development of new synthetic chemistry and potential treatments for bacterial infections, cancer and other diseases.

“Through this generous grant, we will be able to propel our existing programs forward and have the flexibility to pursue new directions when they arise,” Pierce said.

Pierce joined the NC State faculty in 2012 and is a LORD Corporation Distinguished Scholar, associate professor of chemistry and University Faculty Scholar. He is also co-director of the university’s Comparative Medicine Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

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