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4 projects target cystic fibrosis with Hunt for a Cure funds
Date:11/1/2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. Discovering new treatments and battling dangerous infections are the focus of four Michigan State University researchers targeting the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis with projects funded by a Grand Rapids-based advocacy organization.

The research studies, with support from a $110,000 grant from Hunt for a Cure and administered by MSU's Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, expand the relationship between the two organizations. Funding from Hunt for a Cure already has established a mouse colony at MSU that has been key in providing data on preventing cystic fibrosis infection in the lungs, said Gregory Fink of MSU's Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

"We have found Hunt for a Cure to be amazingly well-informed on the science of cystic fibrosis and highly sophisticated in its understanding of the medical research process, and we're proud that MSU scientists helped improve our management of this extremely important health problem," he said.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus, leading to life-threatening lung infections. Although a rarer disease, it is ranked as one of the most widespread life-shortening genetic diseases; 1 in 4,000 U.S. children are born with the disease.

The four new MSU projects are led by:

  • Bruce Uhal, Department of Physiology: Uhal is testing the theory that a group of molecules important in controlling blood pressure called angiotensins also are involved in how cystic fibrosis damages the lungs. One possibility is using well-studied drugs currently used for blood pressure control in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. The studies are being done using the established mouse colony.

  • Martha Mulks, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics: People with cystic fibrosis often experience serious lung infections, one of the worst being caused by the pathogen Burkholderia ce
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Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

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