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Clearing the 'fog'
Date:1/15/2009

proved right.

"Alone, methotrexate didn't cause learning or recall deficits in mice when given once. Mice given 5-flurouracil once showed some deficits in recall, but when we gave the mice both drugs, it had a synergistically worse effect on their ability to learn and remember."

In other words, the mice forgot what they learned a day after being given the chemotherapeutic agents. And as Walker expanded their research, giving the drugs once a week for three weeks, they saw even more deficits than just giving it acutely. Armed with their results, this one-time side project became a priority. What followed were months of research and the involvement of more colleagues to help define better dose combinations and regimens. But there was also the ping-pong of NIH reviews and revisions to endure and Walker and her research team had run out of money. In March, 2008, a $50,000 bridge grant through the Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives allowed her research to continue.

Eight months later, the NIH sent word that they were not only funding Walker's research with a five year, $1.5 million dollar grant, but she received a priority percentile ranking of 0.8, placing it at or very near the top of all peer applications.

"I had to look at the score twice because I couldn't believe it," said Walker.

It wasn't just Walker who was impressed by the score.

"I was delighted to learn about the grant and its truly outstanding ranking," said Larry F. Lemanski, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives at Temple. "This major grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Dr. Walker to significantly expand her research programs. At the same time, the award will increase Temple's reputation as a major player in this very important field of biomedical research."

Indeed the funding will allow Walker to triple her efforts. She can put someone full-time on the project and study four more chemoth
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Contact: Megan Chiplock
chiplock@temple.edu
215-707-1731
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert  

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