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Rong Huang, assistant professor in VCU School of Pharmacy’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry, has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million R01 grant by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Science.

The project is titled “Protein N-terminal Methylation Mechanisms and Inhibition.” Haung notes that the overall objective of the research is to study the mechanism and recognition of protein alpha-N-terminal methylation.

Alpha-N-terminal methylation plays an essential role in regulating cell mitosis, chromatin interactions and DNA repair. “Its level is increased,” Huang explains, “as a response of cellular stress, aging and developmental processes.”

The project’s long-term goals are: 1. To elucidate the biochemical pathways mediated by protein alph-N-terminal methylation that contribute to the pathogenesis of cancer and developmental defects, and 2. To develop potent and specific chemical inhibitors to examine the therapeutic potentials.

Huang joined the School of Pharmacy faculty in 2011. She also is a member of the Institute for Structural Biology, Drug Discovery and Development and an associate member of VCU Massey Cancer Center. After earning her Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at Purdue University, she completed postdoctoral work in chemical biology at Johns Hopkins University.

To learn more about Huang’s research and her laboratory, click here.

Categories Faculty news, Graduate students, Research