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The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year, $20 million grant to Duke University researchers to explore and optimize the chemical structure and physical properties of individual molecules in a polymer network.
A snippet of genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers are working on new ways to cure infections, using molecules (purple) that bind to folds in the virus’s RNA genome. Credit: Martina Zafferani, Duke University
Professor Amanda Hargrove and her team, to include graduate student Martina Zafferani, have identified chemical compounds that can latch onto the complex shapes that RNA takes on as it folds upon itself, and block the virus’s ability to replicate.

Diversity & Inclusion

The Duke Chemistry Department aspires to create a community built on excellence, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. As scientists, educators, collaborators and co-workers, we are committed to promoting a culture of mutual respect that inspires creativity, relishes scientific inquiry, fosters intellectual curiosity, and rewards collaborative engagement. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas – an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard.

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