Wang Awarded Two-Year, $80,000 NHARP Grant

Wang Awarded Two-Year, $80,000 NHARP Grant
Early-Career Grant Supports Research on Ribosomes

WangYuhong Wang, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry, is among a small group of researchers statewide who have been awarded two-year, $80,000 grants from the Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program (NHARP).

NHARP is administered by the state of Texas’ Higher Education Coordinating Board and is designed to support basic research performed by early-career investigators. The program received more than 270 proposals but only 12 researchers were awarded grants this year.

Wang’s research focuses on ribosomes, the universal protein synthesis assemblies in all life. Gene information is translated into protein by the ribosome, a large complex molecule.

The goal of Wang’s project, titled “Real Time Tracking of Substrate-Enzyme Interaction in Single Ribosomes,” is to study the interactions between a ribosome and its substrates, or tRNAs. This research will provide novel structural and kinetic insights about the fundamental mechanism of protein biosynthesis.

“If one single biomarker molecule associated with cancer or other diseases can be readily detected, the disease can be diagnosed as early as possible,” Wang said in explaining the potential applications for her work.

“This project also will introduce science and research to young talented students and attract them to a scientific career at young age,” she said. “Graduate and undergraduate students will be trained in inter-disciplinary fields, including biochemistry, molecular biology, spectroscopy, statistics and nano-biotechnology.”

-- Excerpted from UH news release by Laura Tolley