January 28-29, 1999
ITEM 102-2004-R0199 Authorization to Establish the Center for the Discovery of Bioactive Compounds; Montana State University-Bozeman
THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes the establishment of the Center for the Discovery of Bioactive Compounds within the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University-Bozeman.
EXPLANATION: Montana State University-Bozeman proposes to establish the Center for the Discovery of Bioactive Compounds in order to take advantage of unique opportunities to enhance the educational, research and outreach missions of the campus. Recent developments have positioned MSU-Bozeman to establish a world-class, multidisciplinary research center encompassing all the elements required for the discovery of new generations of molecular agents for agricultural, medical, and environmental applications - a Center for the Discovery of Bioactive Compounds. Research in this area is essential to meeting the scientific and technological challenges of the twenty-first century; new molecules are needed to combat disease and improve health; to replace compounds against which pathogenic organisms have developed resistance; to sustain and enhance agricultural productivity, to remediate environmental assets; to replace compounds that are detrimental to the environment; and to control alien organisms in ecosystems. These are all areas of substantial national interest and establishing the Center will enhance the competitiveness of MSU students in the global economy and provide great opportunities for partnerships with the private sector.
A fundamental organizing principle of the proposed Center is that important breakthroughs will occur at the intersection of scientific frontiers in synthesis, structural biology, and molecular biology. An additional impetus for the Center is the likelihood that the development of new, useful, bioactive molecules can be stimulated by congruent research in the areas above, along with natural products chemistry and computational methods. Accordingly, the broad aims of the Center are to cultivate faculty and resource development in these core areas, and to foster interactions and collaborations among these areas. Once operational, the Center=s activities will focus on: the isolation of biologically-active compounds from natural sources; the development of new strategies and methods for synthesis of molecules with tailored biological activities; the characterization of the structures and activities of these natural and synthetic compounds; and the structural biology of these compounds as they interact with their protein and nucleic acid targets. The Center will bring together faculty from the departments of Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Plant Sciences, and will have close ties with the Center for Computational Biology, which was recently established at MSU-Bozeman.
The Center will be established and supported by a combination of federal, university, and private-sector funding. Regential authorization will enhance our ability to secure federal funding.
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