Phil Bevilacqua selected for Faculty Scholar Medal

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Phil Bevilacqua selected for Faculty Scholar Medal

Phil Bevilacqua, Professor of Chemistry

12 February 2010

Phil Bevilacqua, Professor of Chemistry, has been selected to receive the 2010 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal in Physical Science. Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of faculty peers reviews nominations and recommends candidates to Penn State's president, Graham Spanier.

Research in the Bevilacqua Lab is centered on understanding the function of systems involving ribonucleic acids (RNA) at the molecular level. RNA is a fascinating molecule because, unlike DNA or proteins, it has both genetic and functional capabilities. This has led to the notion that RNA was particularly important in the emergence of life on Earth. RNA is also of interest because it is involved in a wide range of important biological pathways, and can be used as both a biological target and a chemical tool. We work on model systems (oligonucleotide studies), larger catalytic RNA (ribozyme folding and chemistry), as well as the interaction of RNA with proteins (RNA-protein interactions). The Bevilacqua group uses experimental approaches that range from physical chemistry to biochemistry and molecular biology.