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Press Release

Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
March 17, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Research May Lead to Improvements for Drug Industry

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University researchers Andy Gellman, head of chemical engineering, and David Sholl, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, are developing new solid surfaces that will help drug makers separate "left-handed" and "right-handed" molecules.

They are scheduled to speak about their research on March 26, 2003, at the American Chemical Society National meeting in New Orleans, La.

The design and separation of left- and right-handed molecules in drugs has tremendous impact on many drugs. For example, thalidomide was first marketed in the early 1950s for respiratory infections. Thalidomide was later prescribed in concert with chemicals as a sedative and treatment of morning sickness.

While the left-handed drug had a proven therapeutic track record, the right-handed molecules of the drug were eventually linked to physical birth defects. The research is vital for developing more economical and purer drugs for consumers and physicians.

For additional information about the research, please check this site:


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