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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Marcey Waters
  • (919) 843-6522
Award Date:05/13/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 480,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 480,000
  • FY 2021=$480,000
Start Date:07/01/2021
End Date:06/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Cooperativity Driven Communication through Noncovalent Networks in Biomimetic Systems
Federal Award ID Number:2107685
DUNS ID:608195277
Parent DUNS ID:142363428
Program Officer:
  • Suk-Wah Tam-Chang
  • (703) 292-8684

Awardee Location

Street:104 AIRPORT DR STE 2200
County:Chapel Hill
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Street:104 Airport Dr., Ste 220 CB# 135
City:Chapel Hill
County:Chapel Hill
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

With the support of the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry Program in the Division of Chemistry, Professor Marcey Waters of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will develop biomimetic model systems that mimic the complex behavior that regulates protein function. Many proteins function as molecular machines that respond to stimuli with molecular on-off switches. This research seeks to uncover the molecular features that are necessary to create new stimulus-responsive molecules that mimic the behavior seen in proteins. The findings from this work have the potential to provide better insight into biomedically relevant protein behavior, but to also provide guidelines for how to create new biomimetic "smart" materials. The broader impacts of this work include broad interdisciplinary training for the students working on the project, as well as the development of new program that connects chemistry majors doing independent research with younger students to provide peer role models and guidance on how to pursue research, with the goal of increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups that engage in research in the chemistry and chemical biology. Proteins are complex molecules that display a wide range of behaviors beyond binding and catalysis, including stimulus response involving long-distance structural rearrangement as in allostery, conformational signaling, and signal transduction. These behaviors are accomplished via communication through a noncovalent network, but the molecular mechanisms of such communication are poorly understood. This research aims to develop predictive model systems with a responsive noncovalent network to establish the molecular requirements for achieving communication through a noncovalent network, including the role of both positive and negative cooperativity. These model systems have the potential to bridge the gap between minimalist models and complex proteins to gain molecular level insight into these responsive systems. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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