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UC Davis grant zeroes in on novel asthma diagnosis and treatment
Date:6/19/2009

DAVIS--An entomology professor at the University of California, Davis who discovered a novel therapeutic target for treating inflammation, has received a three-year $750,000 grant from the American Asthma Foundation to investigate whether his discovery will work on asthma, a chronic disease affecting 300 million people worldwide, including 23 million Americans.

"In our study, we propose to evaluate whether the new field of metabolomics can be used to diagnose asthma and follow its treatment," said principal investigator Bruce Hammock, a distinguished professor and member of the National Academy of Sciences. Metabolomics involves the study of metabolic products of cells, which scientists use to distinguish a diseased state from a healthy state.

"Our study also will evaluate if there is a scientific basis to do human clinical trials on soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitors in asthma, which has recently been demonstrated as a novel therapeutic treatment for treating inflammation," Hammock said. "Control of airway inflammation is critical in asthma treatment. We'll be investigating this target for asthma management."

The UC Davis grant, "Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Is a Novel Therapeutic Target in Asthma" was one of 12 successful applications from a pool of 327. Funds will be used solely for research. Analytical chemist Jun Yang, a postdoctoral researcher in the Hammock lab, wrote the proposal.

Hammock, Kenyon and Yang all have experienced asthma in their families. Hammock's two sons developed asthma "and that's why we moved from the Riverside area, in the South Coast Air Basin, to Davis -- to alleviate their asthma," Hammock said. Kenyon's six-year-old daughter has asthma, as does Yang's father-in-law.

Co-investigator is asthma specialist and researcher Nicholas Kenyon, co-director of the UC Davis Asthma Network and associate professor of medicine, Division of Pulmonary an
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Contact: Kathy Keatley Garvey
kegarvey@ucdavis.edu
530-754-6894
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

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UC Davis grant zeroes in on novel asthma diagnosis and treatment
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