UTHSC Receives Eight Grants
Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 11:04 am
Studies funded include cancer, alcoholism, glaucoma and autism
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center recently has been the recipient of eight grants – five for more than $1 million – awarded for the study of everything from gene therapies to a new class of cancer drugs.
“We are grateful for the grants that our researchers continue to receive, especially during such a competitive funding environment,” said Polly Hofmann, PhD, senior associate vice chancellor of research. “The awarded grants are a testament to the commitment of researchers here at UTHSC and to the discoveries they are making that ultimately expand medical understanding, improve treatments and enhance the lives of those who will receive care.”
The largest of the grants, a combined $2.1 million from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is for five years and will be headed by Robert W. Williams, PhD. Williams is a professor in UT’s departments of anatomy and neurobiology and pediatrics. The purpose of the study is to understand how increased stress predisposes people to addiction and alcoholism.
Meanwhile, Tonia Rex, PhD, has received $1.9 million from the National Eye Institute for a five-year study of glaucoma. Her goal is to treat the disease using gene therapy.
Here is a roundup of other recent research grants:
- P. David Rogers, PharmD, PhD, FCCP, recently received a grant for $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study resistance to antifungal therapy. Rogers is the university’s First Tennessee Chair of Excellence in Clinical Pharmacy and the director of its Division of Clinical and Translational Therapeutics.
- Another of the larger grants is from the National Cancer Institute for $1.49 million over five years. Gabor Tigyi, MD, PhD, will be in charge of the study on drugs that so far have been found to stop cancer from spreading. The drugs have been studied for 10 years already and have yielded one therapy for avoiding radiation injury. It’s called Rx100.
- A grant for $1.1 million over four years, in which John K. Buolamwini, PhD, of UTHSC’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences will investigate a therapy to protect cell mitochondria from damage caused by cancer drugs. That study is being funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
- Lawrence T. Reiter, PhD, received a two-year, $412,344 grant to study autism and other neurological diseases. That award is from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Reiter is an associate professor in the departments of neurology, pediatrics and anatomy and neurobiology.
- Harry S. Courtney, PhD, in UTHSC’s Department of Medicine, has received a two-year, $126,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to research streptococcal infections.
- A recent grant, from the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, is for more than $112,000 over one year. Roderick Hori, PhD, of the university’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry will study DNA methylation to further research on prostate cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men. He said his goal is to identify the proteins involved when genes are misregulated. That work could lead not only to identifying new biomarkers, but to therapies for treating cancerous tissues.
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