Groves earns prestigious NIH MERIT award

Princeton chemist John Groves has received a rare MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health to continue exploring iron-based chemistry within living things.

Groves, the Hugh Stott Taylor Chair of Chemistry, will receive approximately $3.5 million over the next 10 years to extend his investigations of iron-containing catalysts that help the body process drugs. His lab's basic research into enzymes and signal molecules not only has revealed a great deal of fundamental insights into biological chemistry, but also has provided a promising candidate drug for diabetes.

MERIT (Method to Extend Research In Time) awards have been offered since 1986 to investigators who have demonstrated high levels of competence and productivity in previous research efforts. The awards, which can be extended for up to 10 years, are intended to ensure long-term support to a few projects the National Institutes of Health recognizes as outstanding. Less than 5 percent of NIH-funded investigators are selected to receive MERIT awards.

Groves came to Princeton in 1985 after teaching at the University of Michigan for 16 years, where he was director of the Michigan Center for Catalysis and Surface Science. He has held the Hugh Stott Taylor chair since 1991 and was the chemistry department chair from 1988 to 1993. Among his many honors, he is a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.