The

DEAN’S MESSAGE

Welcome to the February edition of our eNewsletter. We are grateful to have this monthly opportunity to communicate with our alumni and friends and share some of the wonderful things we’ve been doing here at the college.

Each year, we honor our outstanding faculty and staff members at our annual college awards banquet for the excellent work they do within the college. We recently held our banquet for 2010 and recognized a number of individuals for their great contributions to the college and our students.

Four faculty members and one administrative staff member received college awards recognizing their accomplishments. Both Shane Reese of the Department of Statistics and Eric Christiansen of the Department of Geological Sciences were acknowledged for their excellence in teaching and classroom instruction; Shane as a faculty member here fewer than 10 years and Eric as a faculty member here more than 10 years. Jeff Humpherys of the Department of Mathematics received the Faculty Young Scholar Award recognizing excellent scholarship for a faculty member at BYU for less than 10 years. Additionally, Michael Ware of the Department of Physics & Astronomy received the Distinguished Citizenship Award for his

significant contributions in his department, and staff member Darlene Willey was recognized for her exemplary service in our college advisement center.

Similarly, we also recognized a handful of staff members for their many years of distinguished service to the college and university. Both Linda Richards and Rod Scheetz received awards recognizing five years of service, while Darlene Willey and Lonnette Stoddard were honored for their 10 and 25 years, respectively.

It’s always a pleasure to be able to highlight the efforts and achievements of our many accomplished faculty and staff members. As we strive to perform cutting-edge research and provide students with a world-class education here in the college, the majority of the responsibility falls on this group of diligent men and women – and they always respond admirably. Without their hard work and dedication, we would not be able to accomplish half the wonderful things we do here in the college, and we’re thankful for their service.

As we continue in this endeavor in 2010, we will keep you apprised of our activities and progress. We thank you for being a part of our college family and for your continued support.

DEPT. NEWS

2010 COLLEGE AWARDS
Faculty and staff members receive awards at annual college banquet
CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
Professor develops new early screening methods for various types of cancer
CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
New discs bring countless benefits, could safely store data for up to 1,000 years
COMPUTER SCIENCE
Professor receives prestigious award, fellowship from international conference
GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Students travel to India for hands-on experience, cultural awareness
PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
Students win awards at American Physical Society's regional meeting
COLLEGE LINKS
CPMS Homepage
Giving to the College

CHEM PROFESSOR DEVELOPS NEW ANTIBIOTICS

Paul Savage, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, recently received a $2.9 million research grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The grant will fund Savage's continuing research on a family of antimicrobial agents that he developed called ceragenins. Savage refers to ceragenins as “mimics” of the body's antimicrobial peptides, compunds that act as the body’s front-line defenses against infection and many diseases.

Oftentimes people who suffer from infections do not have sufficient of these antimicrobial peptides to naturally battle intruding bacteria and viruses. Medical experts have traditionally prescribed various types of antibiotic medications to help the body's natural defenses fight infection. However, many bacteria can develop a resistance to these antibiotics, rendering them largely ineffective.

That's where ceragenins come into play. Savage’s “mimics” are so similar to the body's natural peptides that they can often evade many of the complications typically associated with more traditional antibiotics. He identifies the inability of bacteria to develop resistance to ceragenins as a major benefit that may allow new antibiotics to successfully battle infections that other medicines have heretofore failed to eradicate.

“Ceragenins are active against a broad spectrum of bacteria, including drug-resistant organisms,” he said. Furthermore, ceragenins maintain their effectiveness for an extended period of time, making them more efficient than many other drugs.

“Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is increasing at an alarming rate,” Savage said. “The ceragenins do not readily engender resistance, so it is likely that they can be used for extended periods without having bacteria become immune to their effects.”

As a result of these unique properties, patients could potentially enjoy the positive effects of these new antibiotics longer than they otherwise could with traditional medications. Savage’s NIAID grant will allow for further exploration of this medical breakthrough that could yield widespread advantages in the near future.

CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | COMPUTER SCIENCE | GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
MATHEMATICS | MATHEMATICS EDUCATION | PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY | STATISTICS

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