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NIH Supports SDM Professor’s Research for 45th Year

SDM’s Phillips Robbins’ research grant is renewed for the 45th year.

Phillips Robbins, a professor of molecular and cell biology in the Goldman School of Dental Medicine, recently received renewed funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The renewed grant marks the 45th year of support by the NIH/NIGMS for Robbins’ research on glycosylated, or sugar-carrying, proteins. Only a small group of grants has had continuous funding for this length of time. Robbins, who came to BU in 1998, conducted his earlier research at MIT, where he was the American Cancer Society Professor of Biochemistry.

Robbins and fellow researcher John Samuelson, an SDM professor of molecular and cell biology, have discovered a unique glycosylation in protists, or single-cell animals. Their study, titled Glycosylation and Glycosidases — Cell and Molecular Biology, shows that common ancestry can be used for predicting glycosylation pathways of organisms, such as those in animals, plants, and fungi.

Robbins says that he is looking forward to the questions he and Samuelson will tackle during the coming grant period, which runs through 2011.

 Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.