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April 1, 2024

Blazing a new trail in drug discovery

It’s not that Xuefei Huang of Michigan State University doesn’t have a sweet gig. After all, he’s a professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering who studies sugars.

It’s just a lot more complicated than most people realize.

“Carbohydrates — complex sugars also known as glycans — are everywhere,” says Huang, who works in the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering, or IQ, at MSU.

“They’re in food, wood, our clothing,” Huang continues. “They’re also on the surface of human cells and bacterial cells. Even viruses, including the coronavirus, have glycans on their surface.”

At the molecular level, glycans are often the first point of contact between our bodies and unwelcome guests, including cancer cells. 

For the full story, visit the College of Natural Science website. 

By: Matt Davenport