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Monmouth University Chemistry Student Receives Award at International Conference

Monmouth University’s Department of Chemistry and Physics is proud to announce that senior chemistry student Gary Prato recently received an award at the 22nd Conference on Current Trends in Computational Chemistry held in Jackson, Mississippi, on November 15, 2013.

Prato, a Hillsborough resident, was awarded 2nd place for his poster presentation: “Rational Anti-Cancer Drug Design: Binding of N-Methyl-Piperazine Functionalized Naphthalene Diimides to DNA G-Quadruplex.” Prato is chemistry major specializing in biochemistry.

Prato performed this research under the direction of Dr. Dmytro V. Kosenkov, an assistant professor of chemistry at Monmouth University. The research is focused on the investigation of chemically functionalized naphthalene diimide ligands. The quantum mechanical based and molecular docking computer simulation techniques will be used to model the low energy conformations of the ligand and model the interactions between the ligands and the telomere DNA G-quadruplex. The information obtained from these simulations will provide a better understanding about how the molecule will interact with telomeres in cancer cells and advance the field of cancer research. Prato was supported as a Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Summer Research Fellow during Monmouth’s 2013 Summer Research Program through a grant provided by BMS. Prato plans to continue his research until his graduation in May, and he will then pursue graduate school.

The Conference on Current Trends in Computational Chemistry (CCTCC) is an international professional meeting held annually. The conference gathers researchers working in the field of computational and quantum chemistry.