National Science Foundation Awards $411,380 Grant to Support Research in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

National Science Foundation Awards $411,380 Grant to Support Research in  Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant of $411,380 to Daniel A. Kraut, PhD, assistant professor, Chemistry, in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to support his research project in the College.

The project is entitled “RUI: Effect of Substrate Polyubiquitination on Proteasomal Unfolding Ability.”

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the molecule that fuels life.  It gives cells the energy needed to perform tasks.  ATP-dependent proteases are present in all species, where they serve to degrade a wide variety of intracellular proteins, including both short-lived regulatory proteins and unfolded, misfolded or damaged proteins that accumulate as a result of cell stress.

As a result of its central position within the cell, proteasome activity or inactivity has been implicated in many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and aging.

“Protein degradation by the proteasome is integrally involved in numerous aspects of the life and death of a cell,” said Dr. Kraut, who teaches in Villanova’s Biochemistry program.  “Understanding how proteasomal processivity is controlled and how the basic proteasomal machinery operates is important for our broader understanding of cellular regulation, and especially for our understanding of how the cell uses partial degradation by the proteasome as a regulatory motif.”

The project will be carried out at Villanova University and will provide research training and experiences for Villanova undergraduate and Master’s level students. The NSF award will support the project for three years.  

“This award from the National Science Foundation recognizes the importance of Dr. Kraut’s research and its potential long-term implications,” said Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, Dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It will enable him to actively involve both undergraduate and Master’s students in the project and offer them opportunities to make significant intellectual contributions. The grant further reflects the fact that Villanova is an academic community where both faculty and students can flourish as scholars and researchers.”