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One of UND's leading research scientists, chemistry professor Don Bergstrom, has told colleagues he will leave the university after the spring semester.

Bergstrom, who has won more than $1 million in national research grants during his eight years at UND, is the latest of several high-ranked university faculty and administrators who've decided to head out of state in the past school year.

Bergstrom on Tuesday confirmed reports that he plans to leave and that he soon will decide between two offers for positions out of state. He said one offer is for a full professorship at a new laboratory facility at Purdue University of West Lafayette, Ind., and the other is to be one of three directors of Microprobe a small high-tech company in his native Washington state. Both positions carry salaries in the $70,000 range.

Bergstrom, a native of Seattle, said he is leaning to the job with industry. He probably would be able to continue his nationally funded AIDS-related research with the West Coast company.

He said frustrations with the lack of resources in the North Dakota university system were part of his reasons for leaving. "People here -- including President Thomas Clifford -- have worked real hard to keep things going, but it's going to be a constant struggle," Bergstrom said Tuesday.

A specialist in bio-organic and medicinal chemistry, Bergstrom recently got two three-year grants, totaling about $750,000 in direct and indirect funds for the university from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. He is working with "anti-sense" nucleic-acids related to viruses, and he is working with potential anti-viral agents, particularly against the AIDS virus, INV-1.

Bergstrom received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley and worked for the University of California-Berkeley and worked for the University of California-Davis before coming to UND in 1980. He helped plan the state and federally funded plan the state and federally funded EPSCoR program, a multi-million-dollar basic science research effort in North Dakota and he has a national post reviewing research projects as a member of the bio-organic and natural products committee of the National Institutes of Health.

Bergstrom and his wife, Eva, have three children in Grand Forks, John Robert and Christina.


Source:  GRAND FORKS HERALD 02/01/1989