West Virginia Universitys C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry has been awarded a $330,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop compounds which may be used to develop new medical treatments.

The funding will be used for research into compounds that could potentially relieve pain, fight viruses, tuberculosis and glaucoma, and reduce inflammation.

WVU chemistry professor Bjorn Soderberg will use chemical reactions recently discovered by his research team to make, or synthesize, a variety of organic compounds. These organic molecules contain a chain of carbon atoms connected by a nitrogen atom.

The resulting compounds have the potential to be biologically active and may be used as the foundation for various medications to treat human ailments, Soderberg said.

There is a substantial research effort in this area of chemistry driven by the significant importance of this type of compound in biology, pharmacology and toxicology,Soderberg said.

Novel Reductive N-Heteroannulationsis the title of Soderbergs current study. He has been awarded more than 25 other research grants.

The chemistry professor earned a masters degree and doctorate at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and joined the WVU faculty in 1994.

His research interests include the development of new synthetic methods, mediated or catalyzed by transition metals and their use in the synthesis of physiologically active molecules.

Research team members are: Serge Banini, Grissell Carrero-Martinez, Ronald Clawson, Chris Dacko, Kim Fisher , Sobha Gorugantula, Jeremiah Hubbard and Peter Zehr.

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education.

For more information, contact Soderberg at Bjorn.Soderberg@mail.wvu.edu .