CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: May 9, 2001
UI researcher wins prestigious NSF CAREER Award
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Sonya J. Franklin, assistant professor of chemistry in
the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts, has been selected by the National
Science Foundation (NSF) to receive a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER)
Award, effective June 1.
As an award recipient, Franklin will receive $484,900 over the next five
years. The CAREER award is the most prestigious NSF honor for junior faculty
and is given in recognition of research and teaching excellence, as well as
academic leadership potential. The awards, presented to engineers and scientists
across the country, are designed to help universities attract and retain outstanding
young faculty members.
Franklin's NSF research, focused on the design and development of artificial
endonucleases to selectively stop the growth of a given cell type, has chemotherapeutic
and antibiotic applications. She is utilizing the structural similarity of
two unrelated proteins to design both DNA-binding and metal-binding functions
into new peptides. Another project in Franklin's lab involves trying to better
understand the structure and function of a zinc-binding protein implicated
in Multiple Sclerosis.
Franklin, who came to the UI in 1998, earned her doctorate from the University
of California, Berkeley in 1994. She was a National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 1995-98.