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04-10-2007

Clarkson University Graduate Students Win Scientific Excellence Awards

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/cinf2007.jpg]

Clarkson University chemistry majors Barun Bhhatarai, a Ph.D. candidate, and Raghava C. Kasara, a master's candidate, have been awarded the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Division of Chemical Information (CINF) Elsevier MDL Excellence in Informatics scholarships. Elsevier MDL is a pioneering leader in discovery informatics. cinf2007

The two Clarkson University students - whose research is based on significant pharmaceutical discoveries in areas of HIV protease inhibitors - were recognized for their work by the ACS. Each winner received a medal and a $1,000 scholarship.

Rajni Garg, research associate professor of chemistry and biomolecular science, supervises Kasara's and Bhhatarai's research at Clarkson. "This is important and high-level research being conducted by Barun and Raghava," remarked Garg. "Their work on HIV-protease inhibitors has the potential for creating new treatments and management for patients living with HIV. I am happy to see the ACS rewarding their hard work and scholarly approach to research."

Bhhatarai is also the recipient of a CINF-IO Informatics Scholarship for Scientific Excellence sponsored by the Society's CINF division. Bhhatarai was presented with the scholarship at the 231st National meeting of ACS in March in Atlanta. The $1,000 scholarship was funded by IO Informatics, Inc., a California-based software company providing scientists in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research tools to optimize the mining, analysis and management of life science data. Bhhatarai's recognition also earned Clarkson's Chemistry and Biomolecular Science Department a free annual license of IO Informatics software.

Last year Bhhatarai was the winner of the Chemical Computing Group and the ACS' Division of Computers in Chemistry (COMP) CCG Excellence Awards for the 230th ACS National Meeting in Washington, D.C. The awards are designed to encourage graduate student participation and interaction among computational chemists in the COMP Division activities. He received a $1,000 grant and Clarkson received a one-year software license for the most recent version of CCG's MOE (Molecular Operating Environment).

PHOTO CAPTION: Master's candidate Raghava C. Kasara (2nd from left) and Ph.D. candidate Barun Bhhatarai (fourth from left) received $1,000 scholarships for their HIV research at the American Chemical Society's (ACS) annual meeting in Chicago. Bhhatarai was also awarded a $1,000 scholarship at an ACS meeting in Atlanta for his work in chemical informatics. Also in the photo are Guenter Grethe, CINF Awards Committee chairman (left); Rajni Garg, research associate professor of chemistry and biomolecular science at Clarkson University (center); and Phil McHale, Elsevier Scholarship sponsor.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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