ST. PETERSBURG Ė†The National Institutes of Health recently awarded $747,000 to Eckerd College to fund computational modeling of how certain cancer-fighting drugs interact in the human body.
It is the first NIH grant ever awarded to Eckerd College. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Joseph Larkin, Ph.D., will use the grant to develop methods to study boron-based pharmaceuticals that fight resistant cancers, such as pancreatic and ovarian cancers. The NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute K22 Career Development Award will fund three years of study, beginning this summer.
Eckerd College students will work with Larkin on the project, along with graduate students and faculty from the University of South Florida.
The research will focus not only on how the body interacts with boron-based drugs but how they work, with the goal to develop methods of early cancer detection.
Larkin received his Ph.D. is from the University of Georgia with a concentration in quantum chemistry. His post-doctoral training was at the NIH, where he worked on computational methods for studying biochemical systems over different time and length scales. Application of these new methods focused on therapies containing boron and how they react with enzymes in the body.