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Biosensor illuminates compounds to aid fight against TB
Date:5/9/2012

ngerous disease and reduce the overall length of drug therapy."

To accomplish that, Abramovitch is focusing on an oxygen sensing system naturally occurring in bacteria that the TB bug uses to establish a chronic infection. His project uses a biosensor that glows green when the TB bacterium senses low environmental oxygen, a cue for the bug to infect its host.

By screening more than 250,000 compounds for molecules that prevent TB from "seeing" that cue essentially blinding the bug he will find compounds that hinder the disease's ability to maintain a persistent state and allow drugs to treat the disease quicker.

"Once we identify some of those compounds, we can focus on developing new treatments," he said.

Launched in 2008, Grand Challenges Explorations is a $100 million initiative funded by the Gates Foundation. More than 600 people in 45 countries have received grants. The program, open to any discipline and organization, uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required.

Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-up grant of up to $1 million.


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Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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