York Chemistry Professor Awarded Grant Of Over $490,000

Adam Profit. Photo Credit: York College’s Website

By Rachel Dalloo

Adam Profit, a Chemistry professor at York, has been awarded a grant worth over $490,000 by the National Institutes of Health. 

The funding will go towards advancing both undergraduate and graduate students at York by engaging them in hands-on research experiences. 

“The grant funds the conduct of research, and the area which the application is applied for,” Profit said. “So, the grant provides money, which will support research supplies, and also, provide money to hire and employ some undergraduates to work on the project.”

The grant titled “Helical Peptoids as Potential Amylin Aggregation Inhibitors” focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of chemical compounds as potential Type 2 diabetes therapeutics.

Currently this grant falls under one of the areas that are being explored within Profit’s laboratory. The second area is Protein Kinase Inhibitors. This grant focuses on Type 2 Diabetes, and studying the way the inhibitors interact and evolve with proteins that are involved with Type 2 Diabetes.

Profit said the ultimate goal of the project is to develop compounds that inhibit the formation of amyloid plaques in the pancreas that is associated with Type 2 diabetes. The compounds may be of use as potential therapeutic agents.

Profit’s grant will be into effect from 2019 to 2022 and will be the fourth grant from the National Institutes of Health that has been awarded to the Chemistry department since 2013. 

According to Emmanuel Chang, the chair of the Chemistry department, the grant will give students the opportunity to work with equipment that will prepare them for their respective fields and give them an edge with potential employers and in further studies.

“What we try to do when we get a grant like that, is to accomplish the goals that we wrote in the initial application,” Profit said. “Then we use that data to develop another grant or seek a renewal on the current grant. So, I think in terms of what I hope to accomplish, is to bring more money into the department in the future date, towards the renewal of the grant.”

In the upcoming project for the Chemistry department, there is currently one undergraduate, one Pharmaceutical Science Master’s student and one Chemistry Ph.D. student working with Profit in the laboratory. He has high hopes and plans to be able to recruit many more students for this chance to work closely with him throughout this experiment.

“I hope to be able to contribute to the department by giving our undergraduates and our graduate students opportunities to work in the lab,” he said. 

Over the summer 2019 there were five York professors who were either awarded grants or highlighted for their work in their fields. Profit is now the sixth professor this year to garner recognition for the college.

“It is a trend that we should continue collegewide, and trying to achieve, and even to go higher in these goals,” Profit said. “Hopefully this is seen as an inspiration for other faculty members to get involved with the grant writing process.” 

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