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MBTP and CSB researchers receive MIRA grants

Posted by on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 in News.

Allison Walker and John Yang

Allison Walker and John Yang, both assistant professors of chemistry, have each been awarded a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to continue their groundbreaking research.

MIRA provides support for a five-year period to continue research in an investigator’s laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS. The goal of MIRA is to increase the efficiency of NIGMS funding by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thereby enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs.

The Walker lab studies the synthesis of small molecules known as natural products to culminate in the discovery and/or biosynthesis of new organic compounds that can be used to treat various human diseases. Allison will use her MIRA grant to continue development of machine learning systems, which currently examine large datasets and molecular simulations in the pursuit of therapeutically beneficial compounds.

The Yang lab is developing a high-throughput computational ecosystem known as Mutexa, which will eventually realize a long-term goal of automatic enzyme design. John plans to use the award to integrate Mutexa with experimental tests to discover new enzymes that will help recycle polymers, synthesize drugs and treat food allergies.

Read more about this honor.

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