UAB Chemistry Professor Margaret Johnson Awarded NIH MIRA R35 Grant

The Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a five-year MIRA R35 grant to Margaret Johnson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, and coworkers.
Margaret JohnsonThe Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a five-year MIRA R35 grant to Margaret Johnson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, and coworkers.

Johnson's research program, entitled “Novel Nucleic Acid-Binding Proteins in Emerging Viruses” aims to define the structural biochemistry of unusual nucleic acids and the viral proteins that recognize and process these biomolecules.

The Maximizing Investigators' Research Award for New and Early Stage Investigators (MIRA R35), is a grant to provide support for all research in an investigator's laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS. Through this mechanism, investigators have the flexibility to pursue new research directions and explore new questions that may arise during the course of their research. Funding from the MIRA awards is given out over a five-year period to support the research program.


Johnson's lab studies molecules produced during infection by respiratory viruses such as SARS and MERS. The three-dimensional structures of molecules on an atomic scale are investigated to understand essential viral functions, which may provide clues to targeted therapies and vaccine strategies.

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