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Virginia McDonough of Biology
Faculty Receives Research Award

Posted September 12, 2000

HOLLAND -- Dr. Virginia McDonough, an assistant professor of biology at Hope College, is the only faculty member from an undergraduate college nationwide to receive an award in the 2000 Atorvastatin Research Awards (ARA) Program.

Only 22 of the awards were presented in the program, which is subtitled "A Focus on the Science" and supported by Parke-Davis, Division of Warner-Lambert Company, and Pfizer Inc. McDonough received $50,000 for her research project "The Role of ABC Transporters in the Cellular Accumulation of Fatty Acids."

The award program's mission is to support outstanding investigators at the early stages of their careers in academic research. The program supports research into basic mechanisms of disease in neuroscience, cardiovascular medicine, diabetes, endocrinology, inflammation/immunology or oncology. Atorvastatin is a drug used to treat high cholesterol, and is manufactured by Parke-Davis and Pfizer.

The other recipients were from universities, medical schools and hospitals ranging from the University of California, Davis, to The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., to the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. In addition to Hope, the Michigan institutions with researchers recognized were Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Health Sciences System.

McDonough's research, conducted jointly with Hope students, is focused on the molecular biology of fats, using yeast as a model organism. She is studying the transport and use of fatty acids in cells, and is particularly interested in what makes some fatty acids toxic to cells.

McDonough joined the Hope faculty in 1995. Her teaching interests include genetics, general education in science and introductory biology.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Cook College of Rutgers University. Her doctorate, earned jointly from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is in cell and developmental biology.

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