WORCESTER, Mass. -- Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park have received a total of $1.3 million in new awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund ongoing research in several areas of the life sciences, including a study of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, work aimed at using adult stem cells to repair damaged hearts, and a project that seeks to create engineered blood vessels.
"Over the past five years, WPI has invested more than $100 million in the life sciences, much of that to create the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, which houses interdisciplinary research programs that span five academic departments," said John Orr, provost. "The center has served as a catalyst for meaningful research that is addressing critical problems in healthcare, environmental science, and other fields. It is exciting to see that the importance and promise of this work has been recognized by the NIH, the NSF, and other federal agencies."
"These NIH and NSF programs are awarded only to scientists working at the leading edge of their respective fields," noted Congressman James McGovern, D-Massachusetts. "So it is very gratifying to see researchers at WPI continuing to break new ground and attracting this important federal support. This research not only impacts people's health, but also helps us sustain and grow the life sciences sector in Central Massachusetts."
The WPI researchers receiving new NIH and NSF awards include
In the new study, Argello and his team will try to identify the specific biochemical steps involving the transport of metal ions that contribute to the bacterial defense mechanism in M. tuberculosis. They will then disrupt the process at various points to see if they can prevent infection in a mouse model. The work could lead to targets for a new class of antibiotics that could replace medications to which M. tuberculosis have become resistant. Argello will collaborate with Christopher Sassetti, PhD, assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who also works on M. tuberculosis.
|Contact: Michael Cohen|
Worcester Polytechnic Institute