Stephen Withers, a professor in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Chemistry, has long been intrigued by mechanisms of enzymatic reactions. More specifically, he has developed an expertise in reactions that involve a sugar, which includes how sugars might be removed from or added to larger molecular arrays. As it turns out, this skill set is perfectly suited to exploring some major medical challenges, such as the degradation of starches associated with diabetes or inhibiting influenza by removing a key sugar that allows the virus to spread.
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