Navigation Links
NIH awards $6.5 million grant to UT Southwestern to develop new antibiotic

DALLAS March 25, 2008 Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been awarded a $6.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a new anti-microbial compound to target bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli.

Though many anti-microbial drugs are available in the marketplace, new ones are needed to combat the increasing microbial resistance to antibiotics. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are two recent examples of diseases that have become increasingly difficult to treat.

This grant award represents a terrific opportunity to continue profoundly important work to develop an entirely new type of anti-microbial compound, said Dr. Michael Norgard, chairman of microbiology at UT Southwestern. With this award, the National Institutes of Health has recognized not only the importance and novelty of the project, but also the outstanding team here at UT Southwestern devoted to its successful completion.

Existing antibiotics are derived from five types of compounds, or chemical structures, and have only three targets: DNA replication in bacteria, protein synthesis and synthesis of the cell wall.

We are investigating a new target area in bacteria that appears to be vulnerable to a small molecule that has never before been used as a drug, said Dr. Vanessa Sperandio, associate professor of microbiology and principal investigator on the new grant. The drug compound has shown promise in fighting at least three different bacterial species including Salmonella, E. coli and Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia.

Dr. Sperandio said the five-year grant will provide the necessary funding to bring her teams research up to the preclinical level.

Weve done some preliminary toxicology and the drug seems to be well tolerated, but more testing is needed to be able to say whether its safe for use in humans, she said.

Dr. Sperandios research has focused on understanding a strain of E. coli known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli 0157:H7, or EHEC. Her research focuses on how bacteria living inside the human body both the helpful ones and the ones that make people sick communicate with one another and with their host. Shes particularly interested in the biochemical signals EHEC uses to cause disease.

A native of Brazil, Dr. Sperandio was named a 2004 Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Global Infectious Disease Research. Through this program, scholars early in their careers received $50,000 annually for five years from the nonprofit foundation to support research in areas that are often underfunded or not funded by traditional sources.

She was also named a 2006 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases. Scholars in this program receive $500,000 over five years to study the pathogenesis of infectious diseases typically understudied.

Dr. Sperandios research has also been supported by other grants from the NIH, as well as the Robert A. Welch Foundation and a High Risk/High Impact grant from UT Southwestern.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in this research are Dr. Noelle Williams, assistant professor of biochemistry; Dr. Ron Taussig, associate professor of pharmacology; Dr. David Rasko, assistant professor of microbiology; and Dr. John R. Falck, professor of biochemistry and pharmacology. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Omm Scientific, a privately-held biotech company that manufactures specialty organic chemicals, are also involved.


Contact: Kristen Holland Shear
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards
2. Singapore National Science and Technology Awards
3. Homeland Security awards 2 grants to Rutgers for nuclear threat detection
4. NIH awards nearly $23M to University of Chicago for translational research
5. NIH awards researcher $1.5 million new innovator grant for fruit-fly studies of prion proteins
6. PETA awards $120,000 to Duluth Foundation for advancing non-animal tests
7. NIH awards UC $9 million grant to improve patient point-of-care technologies
8. NIST announces 56 new awards for innovative technology research and development
9. USP awards verified mark to Dr. Reddys Laboratories, Ltd. ingredients
10. Simons Foundation awards Emory scientists $3M for autism gene research
11. NIH grants $33 M in institutional development awards to 3 states
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
NIH awards $6.5 million grant to UT Southwestern to develop new antibiotic
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it ... (MHTA) as one of only three finalists for a ... Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... superior technology innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Daon, a global leader in mobile biometric authentication ... version of its IdentityX Platform , IdentityX v4.0. ... have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and are seeing ... UAF certified server component as an option and ... These customers include some of the largest and most ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Tampa, Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... its biggest event of the year and one of the premier annual events ... USA, and ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led ... also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. ... members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company focused on ... Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will present at ... 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The Lotte ... --> --> About ... is on Twitter. Sign up to follow our ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that ... scheduled to present at the 2015 Piper Jaffray Healthcare ... at The Lotte New York Palace Hotel in ... . --> . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: