National Science Foundation Awards Williams College $240,000 For Biochemical Research

September 24, 1997

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.-- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant of $240,000 to Deborah L. Weiss, assistant professor of chemistry at Williams College, in support of research in the field of biochemistry.

Weiss' research explores the question of how cells are able to precisely control the levels of gene expression required for cell differentiation, proliferation, and ultimately the fate of the cells.

Her work focuses on the biochemical mechanisms that control the inducible expression of the Interleukin-4 (Il-4) gene. Il-4 is a small protein produced by the body that has extremely diverse effects on different target cells. It is involved in blood cell growth and differentiation, tumor surveillance, and local protective inflammatory responses. When the controlled production of Il-4 goes array, the effects upon the body are extremely detrimental.

An understanding of the regulation of the Il-4 gene could lead to the development of therapeutic strategies to combat these effects by interfering with or augmenting its production.

Weiss's work has been published in the Journal of Immunology and Molecular Cell Biology. She was awarded in 1990 a National Research Service Award and in 1993 a Medical Research Foundation of Oregon Grant, both in support of research in delineating the regulatory mechanisms of Il-4 production.

Before joining the Williams faculty in 1996, she taught at Lewis and Clark College. She also was at Oregon Health Sciences University, where she completed post-doctoral work and was an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology/ oncology.

She received her B.S. in chemistry in 1979 and her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1986 from Purdue University.


Williams College is consistently ranked one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges. Founded in 1793, it is the second oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college of 2,000 students is located in Williamstown, which has been called the best college town in America. You can visit the college in cyberspace at

Jo Procter, News Director
Williams College
Box 676
Williamstown, Mass. 01267
Direct phone: 413-597-4279
FAX: 413-597-4158

Williams College

Related Chemistry Articles from Brightsurf:

Searching for the chemistry of life
In the search for the chemical origins of life, researchers have found a possible alternative path for the emergence of the characteristic DNA pattern: According to the experiments, the characteristic DNA base pairs can form by dry heating, without water or other solvents.

Sustainable chemistry at the quantum level
University of Pittsburgh Associate Professor John A. Keith is using new quantum chemistry computing procedures to categorize hypothetical electrocatalysts that are ''too slow'' or ''too expensive'', far more thoroughly and quickly than was considered possible a few years ago.

Can ionic liquids transform chemistry?
Table salt is a commonplace ingredient in the kitchen, but a different kind of salt is at the forefront of chemistry innovation.

Principles for a green chemistry future
A team led by researchers from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies recently authored a paper featured in Science that outlines how green chemistry is essential for a sustainable future.

Sugar changes the chemistry of your brain
The idea of food addiction is a very controversial topic among scientists.

Reflecting on the year in chemistry
A lot can happen in a year, especially when it comes to science.

Better chemistry through tiny antennae
A research team at The University of Tokyo has developed a new method for actively controlling the breaking of chemical bonds by shining infrared lasers on tiny antennae.

Chemistry in motion
For the first time, researchers have managed to view previously inaccessible details of certain chemical processes.

Researchers enrich silver chemistry
Researchers from Russia and Saudi Arabia have proposed an efficient method for obtaining fundamental data necessary for understanding chemical and physical processes involving substances in the gaseous state.

The chemistry behind kibble (video)
Have you ever thought about how strange it is that dogs eat these dry, weird-smelling bits of food for their entire lives and never get sick of them?

Read More: Chemistry News and Chemistry Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to