On this episode of Molecular Moments, Chad Briscoe speaks with Dr. David Berkowitz, Director of the Division of Chemistry at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a Willa Cather Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and co-lead of the Nebraska Drug Discovery & Development Pipeline. David shares how he got his early beginnings in science as an undergrad studying endocrinology at the University of Chicago, going to Switzerland with his Ph.D. advisor to work at a chemistry biology interface, and later attending Yale to understand how to make molecules better.
Chad and David also discuss the National Strategic Institute in Nebraska and David’s involvement with the program to research medical countermeasures for Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS), the difficulty of testing drugs for prophylaxis treatments, and the importance of getting the most out of the NSF. They reminisce about when David was supportive of Chad’s pursuit of his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska. David talks about some exciting work he’s doing with enzymes that came about as a result of talking to someone while waiting for a slow elevator, how higher learning has changed over the years, and running the Lincoln Marathon.