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SIUE School of Pharmacy, SLU Pharmacology Receive $975K NIH Grant
Date:11/2/2009

;When you have inflammation in the body," Neumann explained, "reactive oxygen species and free radicals are produced, which can lead to formation of the neurotoxic molecule, peroxynitrite. Normally, these reactive molecules are kept under tight wraps by the body's own antioxidant defense systems.

"But, if these systems become compromised, as in a state of chronic pain, it actually can make the problem worse. We'll be looking at creating a synthetic enzyme that will go in and destroy the peroxynitrite."

Over the past decade, Salvemini's pioneering research led to the discovery of peroxynitrite. "We discovered the substance ... which turns out to be very important in the development of pain and inflammation. If we target that molecule, we hope we can find new therapies with fewer side effects," said Salvemini.

"Currently, pain is often poorly managed. Our hope is to find better ways to eliminate human suffering."

The two-year grant is being administered through the NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases. "By using various accepted lab methods, we will try to create in rats arthritic conditions and see how they react to the pharmacology we introduce," Neumann said. "The broad potential therapeutic use of these new analgesic agents we're proposing is not a part of current pain management drugs," he said.

"Our team will draw upon previous breakthroughs in the development of free radical targeted therapies but we will go further in creating a new approach to combat the problem without some of the current side effects of current pain management drugs."

William Neumann received a bachelor of science in Chemistry from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1983 and a doctorate in 1987 from UM-St. Louis, where he worked on synthetic methodologies directed at preparing antitumor cyclopentanoid natural products. Sin
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