posted September 12, 2000

Biologist's Research Honored

Dr. Virginia McDonough, an assistant
professor of biology at Hope College, is the only faculty
member from an undergraduate college nationwide to receive
an award in the 2000 Atorvastatin Research Awards (ARA)
Program.

Only 22 of the awards were presented in the
program, which is subtitled "A Focus on the Science" and
supported by Parke-Davis, Division of Warner-Lambert
Company, and Pfizer Inc. McDonough received $50,000 for her
research project "The Role of ABC Transporters in the
Cellular Accumulation of Fatty Acids."

The award program's mission is to support
outstanding investigators at the early stages of their
careers in academic research. The program supports research
into basic mechanisms of disease in neuroscience,
cardiovascular medicine, diabetes, endocrinology,
inflammation/immunology or oncology. Atorvastatin is a drug
used to treat high cholesterol, and is manufactured by
Parke-Davis and Pfizer.

The other recipients were from universities,
medical schools and hospitals ranging from the University of
California, Davis, to The Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine in Baltimore, Md., to the Brigham and Women's
Hospital in Boston, Mass. In addition to Hope, the Michigan
institutions with researchers recognized were Michigan State
University and the University of Michigan Health Sciences
System.

McDonough's research, conducted jointly with Hope
students, is focused on the molecular biology of fats, using
yeast as a model organism. She is studying the transport
and use of fatty acids in cells, and is particularly
interested in what makes some fatty acids toxic to cells.

McDonough joined the Hope faculty in 1995. Her
teaching interests include genetics, general education in
science and introductory biology.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in biology
from Cook College of Rutgers University. Her doctorate,
earned jointly from Rutgers University and the University of
Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is in cell and
developmental biology.