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Scientist Wins Male Contraceptive Grant


10/19/2005 5:13:21 PM

A Norfolk State University researcher who has worked nearly 20 years to create a male contraceptive will share in a $3.6 million grant to help him further his work. The funding for Joseph C. Hall's research is from the National Institutes of Health. The grant, Hall said, will bring to his research the world of "computer-assisted drug design" to speed the time he can produce compounds for testing. The grant, distributed over five years, will support Norfolk State's Center for Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences, which Hall directs. Hall's research, which has received money from the National Science Foundation, seeks to blunt sperm's ability to fertilize eggs. His focus is the enzyme that penetrates the sugar coating that surrounds the egg. He is seeking a compound that can bind to the enzyme, deactivating the sperm. While Hall has reached a solid success rate of 92 percent, he wants his contraceptive to be 100 percent foolproof. He expects the final product to be in the form of a patch. The university's first NIH grant in 13 years will also will be used on protein research, which could improve cancer treatments; add at least a handful of faculty positions; and provide opportunities for students and faculty members to collaborate with their counterparts at Eastern Virginia +Medical+ School and the University of Virginia.

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