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Pomona College Chemistry Professor Awarded $213,000 Grant

Matthew Sazinsky, professor of chemistry at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, has been awarded a three-year National Institutes of Health grant in the amount of $213,000 to research iron transport and the mechanism of acquiring metal ions.

Iron is a valuable micronutrient required for numerous essential life processes and is often a rate-limiting growth factor for pathogens. In his winning proposal, “The Mechanism of Fe2+ Transport by the Bacterial Ferrous Iron Uptake System Feo,” Sazinsky--with four students working alongside him in the laboratory--will examine a membrane protein responsible for allowing bacteria to scavenge Fe2+ from its surroundings. Such studies aim to contribute to our fundamental understanding of bacterial virulence and iron metabolism.

Sazinsky received the Pomona College Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-Up Award in 2007 that same year. His research topics--in which undergraduate research students are heavily involved--include employing X-ray crystallography and biochemical techniques to answer questions about the structure and function of proteins. He teaches classes on chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology and bacterial biofilms.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty and a range of opportunities for student research.