Campus News

Noted researcher named UGA’s newest GRA Eminent Scholar

Arthur S. Edison

One of the leading experts on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and metabolomics is joining the faculty at UGA as its newest Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

Arthur S. Edison, who is currently a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Florida, will join the faculty of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, the department of genetics and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center in August as the GRA Eminent Scholar in NMR Spectroscopy. He also will serve as director of the NMR facility housed at the CCRC, succeeding James Prestegard, who has directed the facility and held the GRA Eminent Scholar position since 1998.

Edison is the third GRA Eminent Scholar to join UGA this year. He brings the total number of GRA scholars at UGA to 17.

“Hiring three GRA Eminent Scholars in one year is remarkable and points to the University of Georgia’s expanding research enterprise,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Dr. Edison’s expertise will help move this institution to the forefront of an exciting new field—metabolomics—which holds answers to some of the world’s most complex challenges in human health.”

NMR spectroscopy is a powerful noninvasive technology used to study biological systems. UGA’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center is home to one of the world’s most powerful NMR tools, an instrument that generates atomic-level pictures of biologically important proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates, as well as analysis of the complex mixtures that characterize metabolomics applications.

Metabolomics is the study of small molecules called metabolites found within cells and biological systems. Metabolites are produced or consumed in the chemical reactions that take place in the body to sustain life.

Edison’s research explores new applications of NMR spectroscopy in the metabolomics area. His research so far has shed important light on the role of small metabolic products in communication among animals, and he has developed new approaches in metabolomics and systems biology as well as highly sensitive methods to analyze small amounts of material using NMR.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Edison to the GRA Academy of Eminent Scholars,” said Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance. “Over the past 17 years, the University of Georgia and GRA have partnered to build an internationally renowned NMR facility. The facility has placed particular emphasis on the area of structural biology. Dr. Edison will continue not only to support this activity but also will lead it in an entirely new direction, NMR-based metabolomics.”