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KGI Professor Ian Phillips Awarded Defense Grants for Medical Combat Research
Date:9/17/2008

CLAREMONT, Calif., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) today announced that Ian Phillips, PhD, KGI's Norris Professor of Applied Life Sciences, has received two grants from the US Department of Defense (DoD) in support of his medical research to reduce battlefield fatalities among American military personnel.

"With battlefield injuries, soldiers can bleed to death before medics are able to reach them," said Phillips. "We are working to produce an automatic anti-hemorrhaging system that would allow a wounded soldier's own body to produce a blood-clotting protein, thus giving him or her potentially life-saving minutes until their injuries can be treated."

The anti-hemorrhaging system, known as the Automatic Hemostat Vector, would be given as an injection to soldiers before going into battle. Phillips research is focusing on a molecule that "switches on" a gene to produce a blood clotting protein, Factor VII.

When a blood vessel is broken, the bleeding reduces oxygen. Low oxygen would activate the Hemostat causing Factor VII to be made in the injured tissue. Factor VII seals broken blood vessels, and as oxygen levels are restored, the Hemostat would turn off automatically in the body.

In addition to helping soldiers, the Hemostat has potential for use in civilian surgery and cases of hemophilia and hemorrhagic stroke. Phillips is also working on ways to add a stem cell homing factor gene to the Hemostat system that would cause stem cells to be drawn to the injury from bone marrow and begin healing the wound even while the injured soldier is on the battlefield.

Phillips' research is funded by a sub-grant from the DoD's Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the US Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center to the University of South Florida. To date, Phillips has received $323,000 from the Defense Department in support of his research.

The Hemostat system will be developed at KGI and tested at the University of South Florida and the US Army Surgical Institute in San Antonio.

Phillips holds a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, the 2002 Christopher Columbus Award for science and technology and the Lucian Award for research on circulatory disease.

KGI Background

Educating the future leaders of the bioscience industry, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) offers an interdisciplinary graduate education through its Master of Bioscience (MBS) degree program and its PhD program in Applied Life Sciences. Using team-based learning and real-world projects, KGI's innovative curriculum seamlessly combines applied life sciences, bioengineering, bioethics and business management. KGI also has a robust research program concentrating on the translation of basic discoveries in the life sciences into applications that can benefit society. KGI is a member of The Claremont Colleges, located in Claremont, California.

Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences is dedicated to education and research aimed at translating into practice, for the benefit of society, the power and potential of the life sciences.


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