BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo chemist Andrew Murkin,
PhD, was selected as one of nine scientists to receive a 2012
DuPont Young Professor grant, which funds highly original research
by early-career investigators around the world.
Murkin, an assistant professor of chemistry, will use his
$75,000 grant from DuPont to study novel formulas for a new
generation of herbicides. The research will focus, in particular,
on blocking the activity of enzymes that play a critical role in
keeping certain weeds alive.
The DuPont Young Professor program, launched in 1967, supports
promising young research faculty working in areas of interest to
DuPont, and includes research in the fields of nanotechnology,
genomics, system biology, next-generation herbicides, synthesis of
natural products, carbon dioxide capture, DNA sequencing and
"It's an honor -- it's somewhat of a rare award," said Murkin,
who joined UB in 2009 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at
Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Murkin's UB laboratory studies the so-called transition state of
chemical reactions -- the point in any chemical reaction where the
energy is highest. Enzymes speed up reactions by stabilizing the
transition state. Murkin and his colleagues aim to inhibit the
activity of enzymes by designing compounds that resemble the
Much of Murkin's work on transition-state inhibitors relates to
drug design. His DuPont Young Professors research on herbicides
will also rely on his expertise in this area, identifying ways to
halt chemical reactions that produce organic compounds necessary
for plants to survive.
For a list of all of this year's DuPont Young Professors, visit