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Ron Hills receives National Science Foundation grant for new research project

September 08, 2015

Ron Hills
Ron Hills

Ronald D. Hills Jr, Ph.D., UNE assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, was recently awarded a $375,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program to fund a new research project.

With this three-year grant, Hills will work to develop new modeling methods that will help examine ABC transporters, a protein superfamily known to prevent antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs from entering cells. This research will eventually aid researchers in identifying how to stop or delay the development of treatment drug resistance.

Hills will collaborate on this project with Olgun Guvench, Ph.D., assistant professor in UNE’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Andrew Ward, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

The project will also serve as a way to promote student interest in scientific research through an annual outreach program. The program will offer three unique opportunities:

  1. Students will have the chance to participate in a week-long computer modeling workshop.
  2. Two UNE undergraduate students will earn a $5,000 stipend for completing research that help to advance this projects’ aims
  3. A biochemistry course for Pharmacy students will integrate process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) that will help them develop higher-order cognitive learning skills.

Facilitating Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions: Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) is a program at the National Science Foundation that supports faculty at institutions awarding 20 or fewer Ph.D. degrees in all NSF-supported fields in the past two years.

Learn more about Hills’ research online

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