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

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