Dordick Interrante

Two Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professors have been named 2010 fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

 

Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) and the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Jonathan Dordick and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Leonard Interrante were both recognized by the ACS for their “outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession, and service to the society.”

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Building on an enzyme found in nature, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections.

“We’re building on nature,” said Jonathan S. Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and director of Rensselaer’s Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies.

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$4.6 million grant will enable the production of larger quantities of a safer synthetic version of the blood thinner heparin

In early 2008, there was a frightening failure in drug safety processes. In just a few weeks, more than 100 Americans had died after being administered contaminated doses of the common blood thinner heparin. The contaminant, present in heparin manufactured in China and discovered with the help of scientists from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was so structurally similar to pure heparin that it was undetectable to all but the most sophisticated detection techniques. As a result, many people become seriously ill or died around the world and the several hundred thousand patients that receive the drug every day in the U.S. were put at risk.

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