Dr. Mark C Walker and Dr. Yi He were awarded a NSF PREC Grant

Departmental News

Posted:  Aug 29, 2022 - 12:00am

Dr. Mark C Walker and Dr. Yi He were awarded a NSF PREC Grant

Dr. Mark C Walker and Dr. Yi He of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department were awarded $868,617 over 3 years for their proposal:

This Partnership for Research and Education in Chemistry between UNM and the NSF Center for Genetically Encoded Materials (C-GEM) aims to increase the retention of minoritized undergraduate students in chemistry.

It will focus on providing mentoring and research experiences to undergraduates to increase their sense of belonging in chemistry and strengthen their identity as chemists. These activities will prepare them for graduate school or careers in chemistry.

The research will focus on engineering a relatively easily manipulable bacterium to produce chemical products of value, and using computational methods to study the machinery these bacteria use to produce these chemicals.

Through these studies, this project endeavors to develop a route to alter and test the pathways used to make these value-added products, for potential long term implications for hybrid synthetic/biocatalytic routes to key molecular or materials targets.

About the PREC Program

The CHE Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry (PREC) program aims to enable, build, and grow partnerships between minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and CHE-supported Centers for Chemical Innovation, NSF's ChemMatCARS, the Molecular Sciences Software Institute (MolSSI), or the Molecule Maker Lab Institute (MMLI) to increase recruitment, retention and degree attainment (which defines the PREC pathway) by members of those groups most underrepresented in chemistry research, and at the same time support excellent research and education endeavors that strengthen such partnerships.