Associate 2000-01

Eric Oldfield


Professor Oldfield joined the UIUC faculty in 1975. His main area of teaching and research has been in physical chemistry, with his research focusing on the development and use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He was a Center for Advanced Study Fellow in 1979-1980 and a Richard G. and Carole J. Cline University Senior Scholar in 1995-1998. He has also been the recipient of the Meldola Medal (1977), the Katz Basic Science Research Prize (1980), the Colworth Medal (1983), the Pure Chemistry Award (1984) and the RSC Spectroscopy Award (1995) for his work in the experimental and theoretical aspects of spectroscopy. During his Center appointment, he plans to develop new chemotherapeutic approaches to treating parasitic protozoan diseases (malaria, sleeping sickness, Chagas’ disease and leishmaniasis) which affect 500 million people worldwide, and to develop new drugs to combat osteoporosis and other related bone diseases. The basis for carrying out this research is that his group recently found that there is a common enzyme in both parasites and bone cells (which are responsible for bone resorption) called farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase, and that drugs which have been used for many years to treat osteoporosis are also taken up by parasites, which are killed in the process. In his future research he plans to develop a new generation of anti-parasite and anti-osteoporosis drugs using rational drug design, based on crystallographic and nuclear magnetic resonance derived structures of these drug targets.