UMBC Watch

"We are proud to have outstanding young scientists at UMBC who transmit their excitement about research to our students."

--President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

Chemistry Faculty Among Nation's Research Elite

Three UMBC chemistry faculty members pursuing cancer research will receive Career Development Grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling $1.2 million. Bradley Arnold, Lisa Kelly, and Paul Smith are among 338 faculty nationwide in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics selected from more than 1,600 applicants.

Career Development Grants honor the nation's most promising young researchers who have demonstrated both an ambitious research agenda and a commitment to integrating research and teaching.

All three UMBC recipients are conducting basic research that may lead to new cancer therapies. Arnold studies how molecules react after absorbing photons from very quick laser pulses. Kelly designs synthetic compounds that mimic enzymes when activated by light. Both hope that their work will lead to more localized, less toxic radiation therapy for cancer. Smith works with cyclodextrin, a small molecule derived from glucose, which may inhibit protein binding related to tumor growth

Each also believes strongly in linking teaching with the excitement of hands-on research. "The high caliber of students at UMBC means that they ask good questions and are engaged and interested," says Smith. "We all have undergraduates in our labs who are doing graduate-level projects by their senior year."

As recipients of Career Development Grants, Arnold, Kelly, and Smith also become eligible for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the White House's highest honor for new scientists and engineers. A total of 10 UMBC faculty have received NSF Career Development Grants since the program was established in 1995.

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