NSF Awards $190.000 Grant to Rowan Biology Professor

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The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $190,000 grant to Rowan University?s Dr. Gregory Hecht, of Washington Township, an associate professor in and interim chair of the Biological

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $190,000 grant to Rowan University?s Dr. Gregory Hecht, of Washington Township, an associate professor in and interim chair of the Biological Sciences Department, to study the microbial processing of lead in the environment.

In his research, titled ?Genetic Investigation of Bacterial Lead Phosphate Precipitation,? Hecht and Rowan students will explore ways in which the freshwater bacteria Caulobacter crescentus can remove lead from the environment, such as metal-contaminated soil or drinking water.

The Rowan team will explore how the bacteria work, focusing in particular on identifying the genes that enable them to carry out the lead removal and regulate the process. According to Hecht, the bacteria use lead to make a compound that has never been commercially developed, and his team also hopes to explore whether the compound has potential use as well.

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