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NMSU chemistry professor to be presented with Westhafer Award

Jeffrey Arterburn, a professor in New Mexico State University's department of chemistry and biochemistry, will be presented with the prestigious Westhafer Award for excellence in research and creativity at an awards ceremony to be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Conroy Honors Center.



Jeffrey Arterburn, professor in New Mexico State University's department of chemistry and biochemistry has been chosen to receive this year's Westhafer Award in an awards ceremony to be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Conroy Honors Center. (NMSU courtesy photo)

Chosen for excellence in research and creativity, Arterburn will receive one of NMSU's highest honors.

Arterburn's outstanding research in organic and organometallic synthetic chemistry, specifically focusing on the development of small receptor-targeted molecular probes, imaging agents, anticancer and antiviral drugs, has contributed to the development of synthetic compounds that target a type of estrogen receptor found in breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers and is a biomarker for diagnosis and treatment of these cancers.

Arterburn also devotes research to the development of novel antiviral drugs for treating emerging and reemerging RNA viruses. He developed synthetic nucleoside analogs that preferentially target viral replication.

Arterburn earned a bachelor's in chemistry from the University of Colorado and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Arizona. He was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Washington, Seattle.

The award is presented in memory of Robert L. Westhafer, a professor in the department of mathematics from 1946 to 1957. The annual award carries a $3,000 gift.