Joshua Maurer, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has received a four-year, $1,216,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for research titled, “Unraveling Development: New Materials for Understanding Neuronal Wiring.” Maurer’s long term objective is to develop methodology that allows the study of a variety of neuronal wiring processes. He is starting by unscrambling a phenomenon known as midline crossing using zebrafish. During development, neurons from the right eye cross the midline of the brain to make a connection in the left hemisphere.
Combinatorial chemistry provides researchers a vast library from which to choose.A researcher studying drug design for nerve damage therapies has gotten her answer to questions by following some old advice: she used the library. It’s not the kind of library her mother or teacher suggested, but a combinatorial chemistry library of many different protein sequences that some day might help her and her colleagues develop a successful timed drug delivery system.