Research Matters

Research Matters

Researcher / Recruiter

Robert Hanzlik heads the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Protein Structure and Function. The center has two missions: a scientific undertaking plus a charge to bring junior faculty in the biosciences into universities across Kansas.

Aired September 6, 2009

2 minutes 3.7 MB) | Download mp3


A researcher makes a career studying toxins while training a new generation of scientists. From the University of Kansas, this is Research Matters. I'm Brendan Lynch.

Researcher Robert Hanzlik, a professor of medicinal chemistry at KU since 1971, studies drug metabolism and toxicology.

Hanzlik: "How do simple chemicals that you might encounter in drug use, in industry, in agriculture, in the environment - how do they cause toxic effects on cells? Toxic effect could be broadly defined as anything you don't like in the way of a biological action of a chemical could be called a toxicity."

At KU, Hanzlik also heads the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Protein Structure and Function. The center has two missions, a scientific undertaking plus a charge to recruit junior faculty in the biosciences at universities across Kansas.

Hanzlik: "Equipment doesn't do research, people do research. Whether you're a scientist, or a trainee in a laboratory or a core lab director, you need good equipment. But without good people, nothing much happens. It's very easy to support a piece of equipment and then forget about it. But it's really something else to support people on a continuing basis. That's when real progress really gets made."

Hanzlik's effort to recruit young researchers to the state has drawn a host of well-known young investigators who, in turn, have generated new scientific breakthroughs.

Hanzlik: "My job as the so-called principal investigator of the COBRE program is not to just simply to provide administrative oversight and budget management, but it is to provide scientific guidance to the overall program, to keep it on track, to keep the individuals interacting working with one another synergistically and collectively accelerating not only the career development of the individual participants but all of the students and technicians working in their research labs and to accelerate the acquisition of new scientific information through our collective research effort.

For more about Robert Hanzlik, log onto Research Matters dot K-U dot E-D-U. For the University of Kansas, I'm Brendan Lynch.

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