The National Science Foundation recently awarded a $680,000 grant to Wake Forest University Associate Professor of Chemistry Patricia Dos Santos. In addition to funding research that helps scientists better understand life on earth, the grant also enables her to mentor students from other Triad-area colleges.
The grant builds upon Dos Santos’ previous research towards understanding the formation of iron-sulfur clusters in cells. How these clusters – which are essential to fundamental processes such as cell respiration, gene expression and enzyme activation – develop through complex biosynthetic pathways still puzzles scientists. Once they understand the reactions that originally led to the formation of iron-sulfur clusters, it is possible that such a biochemical breakthrough would lead to pharmaceutical advances.