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GRS Grad Student Awarded Merck Graduate Fellowship

Jason Lowe, a GRS doctoral candidate, received a Merck fellowship for his work on synthetic organic chemistry.

Jason Lowe, a graduate student and researcher in the chemistry department of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a 2007 Merck Graduate Fellowship for his thesis research. The annual award from Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) Boston will support Lowe’s work in the field of synthetic organic chemistry.

For his thesis, Studies Directed Toward the Total Synthesis of Kendomycin, Lowe is studying the total synthesis of the complex natural product kendomycin — an agent that exhibits antibacterial activity against multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, which cause staph infections and have cytotoxic effects against some glandular cancers. The research also has potential preventive and therapeutic uses for osteoporosis.

James Panek, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of chemistry, who nominated Lowe for the Merck fellowship, says that Lowe thrives in a research-intensive environment and is an “extremely dedicated and productive” student with great maturity, motivation, and intellect.

“Lowe is totally committed to his thesis project and organic chemistry and displays as much enthusiasm for research as I have seen since coming to BU 20 years ago,” Panek says. “He has developed excellent laboratory skills and is tremendously talented in reaction design and development. Importantly, he’s not afraid to fail, so he’s consistently trying new ideas in the lab and looking for better approaches and solutions to existing problems.”