Navigation Links
Gates Foundation continues funding of tuberculosis research at Weill Cornell
Date:11/9/2010

NEW YORK (Nov. 9, 2010) -- Weill Cornell Medical College announced today that it was awarded two $100,000 grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the next phase of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage bold and unconventional ideas for global health. The grants will provide continued support to promising and innovative global health research projects conducted by Dr. Carl Nathan, titled "Senescent and Rejuvenated Mtb Subsets on Exit From Latency," and Dr. Kyu Rhee, titled "Metabolosomes: The Organizing Principle of TB Latency."

Dr. Nathan's and Dr. Rhee's projects are two of nine grants to receive new funding. In 2008 and 2009 respectively, Dr. Nathan and Dr. Rhee received initial $100,000 grants under Grand Challenges Explorations. These new awards represent "next stage" funding for Grand Challenges Explorations grants that have shown progress in their initial grant period and that align with the Gates Foundation's strategic priorities.

"The Grand Challenges Explorations projects receiving this new funding have been scientifically successful in their initial research and show great potential," says Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "Our hope is that one day these projects will lead to breakthroughs that could save millions of lives in developing countries."

Targeting TB as It Emerges From Latency

Dr. Nathan and his lab will study the genetic mechanism by which tuberculosis emerges from its latent state into an infectious and symptomatic disease. Specifically, they are testing the idea that tuberculosis exits dormancy by dividing asymmetrically, so that one progeny cell inherits most of the oxidatively damaged proteins and the other is spared. Blocking this process could aid treatment.

Tuberculosis is a major cause of death around the world, with as many as one-third of the world's population infected with the bacterium, among whom about 8 million develop the disease each year and more than 1.6 million succumb, mainly in developing countries. The majority of those infected have a clinically latent infection; that is, they test positive for the bacterium but are asymptomatic and not contagious. However, 5 percent to 10 percent of this latent group will develop tuberculosis, becoming symptomatic and infectious.

"Understanding how the mycobacterium resumes replication will be key to reducing the prevalence of latent infection to break the cycle of TB transmission," says Dr. Nathan, who is chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology, and director of the Abby and Howard P. Milstein Program in Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Looking at Metabolic Basis of Latency in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

Dr. Kyu Rhee and colleagues are testing the theory that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, utilizes specific protein-based structures called metabolosomes to enter into, maintain and exit from latency.

According to Dr. Rhee, a major challenge to control of the TB pandemic is the lack of effective therapies against non- or slowly replicating forms of Mtb. Such variants are currently thought to represent the major form of Mtb found in latent TB infection. Latent Mtb is thought to represent the principal barrier to faster and more effective TB cures. Current TB treatments are longer than those for virtually any other bacterial infection and associated with significant rates of treatment default, failure and the emergence of drug resistance itself.

"Understanding how metabolosomes work may thus lead to new therapies that would help achieve control of the pandemic and potentially lead to its eradication," says Dr. Rhee, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, assistant professor of microbiology & immunology, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Clinical Scholar in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Grand Challenges Explorations Grand Challenges Explorations is a five-year, $100 million initiative of the Gates Foundation to promote innovation in global health. The program uses an agile, streamlined grant process -- applications are limited to two pages, and preliminary data are not required. Proposals are reviewed and selected by a committee of foundation staff and external experts, and grant decisions are made within approximately three months of the close of the funding round.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Unconventional idea for antiviral contraceptive gel wins Gates Foundation grant
2. Undergraduates low-cost ultrasound system wins Gates Foundation grant
3. New Naked Scientists series investigates our oceans
4. K-State research team investigates mutated genes role in breast cancer
5. Study shows cleaner water mitigates climate change effects on Florida Keys coral reefs
6. Out of this world: New study investigates infection of human cells in space
7. Rapid response team investigates coral disease outbreak in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu
8. International expedition investigates climate change, alternative fuels in Arctic
9. TECNALIA investigates advanced biomaterials to make more reliable and hardwearing medical implants
10. Boost from McGill, Gates Foundation helps Africans control pharma research
11. UT Southwestern researcher awarded Gates Foundation grant for novel vaccine development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company ... announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will ... being able to ask questions via voice or text and ... Marketers have long sought an ... consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of ... the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's ... of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design company ... as one of the World Economic Forum,s Technology ... companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to manufacture ... the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. The ... Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for their ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use ... 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent ...
Breaking Biology Technology: