"Interdisciplinary group seeks mechanism of action for inhalation agents The project, Interaction of Inhaled Anesthetics with Macromolecules, is the continuation of a collaboration that began 15 years ago. The researchers recently received $8.6 million in renewed funding for the next five years from the National Institutes of Health. "We're trying to get to the very basic level," Dr. Eckenhoff said. "If you don't know what the binding site looks like, and what atoms are needed to bind, it's hard to do anything besides empirically alter the drug. For us to intelligently alter it--to predictably alter it--we really need to understand, at the atomic level, what's going on.""