John Karanicolas is on the cutting edge of bioinformatics research but became part of a trend at the University of Kansas when he was named the third faculty member in four years to land a prestigious research grant.
Karanicolas, assistant professor of molecular biosciences and bioinformatics, recently was selected to receive a Sloan Research Fellowship. The award provides $50,000 in research support for two years for young faculty members performing promising research in physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience. Karanicolas has been a COBRE-PSF Pilot Project Leader since 2009.
Karanicolas’ research uses computer modeling to design proteins to carry out specific functions. His lab is focused on building proteins to track compounds known as tryptamines, which act as neurotransmitters. Following the movement of these tryptamines will provide clues as to how cells communicate with each other in the brain.