Chemist Barnes receives teacher-scholar award

Alexander Barnes

Alexander Barnes, assistant professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been recognized with a 2018 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, recognizing his independent scholarship and deep commitment to education.

Each Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar receives an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.  Barnes will use the funding to improve a technology to detect the chemical agents that flush out HIV/AIDS DNA hiding inside living cells — genetic information which otherwise prevents a curative treatment. Research from the Barnes laboratory has greatly increased the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology that can be applied to structural studies within intact cells using a “pulsed” microwave approach and cryogenic cooling to a few degrees above absolute zero.

Barnes, who teaches undergraduate physical chemistry, freshman seminar and graduate-level magnetic resonance classes, among other courses, said that a key part of his teaching approach is to integrate his own cutting-edge research into the classroom to illustrate the application of basic concepts.

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