Bennett Streit was awarded a Science To Achieve Results (STAR) fellowship by the Environmental Protection Agency. The 3-year award, which pays the graduate stipend and offers additional funds for travel and equipment, is made on the basis of an environmentally relevant research proposal, curriculum vitae, and letters of recommendation.
Beginning in 2005, Bennett has been conducting pioneering research on the mechanism of chlorite dismutase, an enzyme that converts chlorite (ClO2-) into harmless chloride and O2. Chlorite is highly toxic, very water soluble, and abundant in the environment due to its use as an industrial bleaching agent. It is currently an EPA “top ten” water contaminant. Biodegradation of chlorite via chlorite dismutase is an attractive, “green” method for chlorite removal from water. The enzyme also affords a way of easily producing O2 on demand, a reaction with biomedical and technological applications. Click here for more information on EPA-STAR.