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Fulbright Scholar Visits Clarkson University to Research How Nicotine Affects Proteins

Research being conducted at Clarkson University can help scientists better understand what happens when bacteria break down nicotine.

Marius MihasanMarius Mihasan, a research scholar in Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Costel C. Darie's Biochemistry & Proteomics lab, is visiting campus for six months as part of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.

Mihasan is an associate professor of biology at his home institution, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, in Romania.

His project, "Proteomic Analysis of Nicotine-induced Proteins in Arthrobacter nicotinovorans," examines the metabolism of nicotine and the applications of Arthrobacter nicotinovorans -- a species of bacteria.

The bacteria can degrade nicotine and use it as a source of carbon, nitrogen and energy. During this process, multiple derivatives are produced.

At Clarkson, Mihasan will conduct research to identify all the proteins that are related to nicotine by using mass spectrometry-based proteomics -- an analytical technique that ionizes chemical species and identifies them by using powerful software.

Mihasan said the research will have several applications in medicine, including a better understanding of how nicotine can bind with receptors in the brain.

The Fulbright Awards Program offers exchange opportunities to Romanian citizens -- scholars, students and professionals -- for study, research and teaching in the United States. These grants are supported by the U.S. and Romanian governments and awarded through open merit-based competitions supervised by bi-national panels.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Kelly Chezum, VP for External Relations, at 315-268-4483 or]

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