The Welch Foundation has awarded more than $2.2 million to 14 Texas A&M University chemistry researchers for work ranging from how gold affects persons suffering from arthritis to development of new synthetic materials.

The $2,234,000 in grants awarded to Texas A&M is part of $20 million The Welch Foundation is currently funding at 29 Texas institutions. Each grant is for a minimum of $135,000 and covers three years of research by a faculty member.

"The Welch Foundation has done a fantastic job of supporting our work," says John Fackler, distinguished professor of chemistry and former dean of science at Texas A&M. "The grants not only have kept chemical research going at Texas A&M but have also enabled quality scientific work by excellent researchers throughout Texas."

Fackler's research involves the study of ultraviolet light on gold-sulfur compounds and hopes to provide answers of how gold works in the body to provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis.

Other Texas A&M researchers working on Welch grants include Paul Cremer, F. Albert Cotton, Victoria DeRose, Cynthia Dupureur and Paul Fitzpatrick.

Also, Francois Gabbai, Carl Gagliardi, Aaron Harper, Frank Raushel, Marlan Scully, Eric Simanek, Robert Standaert, Sherry Yennello and Dave Youngblood.

Since 1954, The Welch Foundation has awarded more than $381 million to support chemical research. It was established in 1954 by the estate of Robert Welch, an oil and minerals entrepreneur. Welch, who had a deep respect for chemistry and his adopted state of Texas, said in his will that "I have long been impressed with the great possibilities for the betterment of mankind that lay in the field of research in the domain of chemistry."

The Welch Foundation underwrites 33 chairs in chemistry at Texas colleges, organizes lecture series, provides numerous grants each year and bestows one of the world's most prestigious chemistry honors, The Welch Award in Chemistry, a $300,000 annual prize given for a lifetime of contribution to chemical research.

For more information, call Kathryn Tesar at (713) 752-1900.

Contact: Keith Randall at (409) 845-4644. For additional Texas A&M stories and photos, see our website at www.tamu.edu and click on "news."

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