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Southern Research Institute Wins $14.7 Million NIH Award to Participate in Molecular Libraries Probe Production Center Network
Date:9/4/2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Research Institute today announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected the organization to participate in the newly-funded Molecular Libraries Probe Production Center Network (MLPCN). The MLPCN -- a collaborative research network -- is part of the Molecular Libraries Program which is designed to benefit human health, broaden scientific knowledge of the human genome and validate future targets for drug discovery.

Southern Research will receive $14.7 million in NIH grant support during the six-year period to conduct work at Southern Research's Specialized Biocontainment Screening Center (SRSBSC). The SRSBSC will provide the results from five assays per year that identify protein function and signaling pathways in pathogen-infected cells which will lead to hit identification and characterization. The SRSBSC will provide a platform for assays requiring Biosafety Levels 2 and 3 for high throughput screening and secondary assays.

"While the focus of the SRSBSC team is on virology, our infrastructure would support the screening of other pathogens requiring containment," said Colleen Jonsson, principal investigator for the SRSBSC.

"Winning this award is a testament to Southern Research's strong capabilities in infectious disease research, and reinforces Southern's commitment to the MLPCN and the initiatives within the National Institutes of Health's Roadmap for Medical Research," said Wilson Blaine Knight, Ph.D, vice president, Drug Discovery, Southern Research Institute. "These initiatives place data in the public domain which will enhance the success in the discovery and development of significant medicines to help improve health and therefore the quality of our lives."

SRSBSC efforts should accelerate the discovery of targets for therapeutic intervention, and reveal biomarkers of infection that could be used for early diagnosis of viral infections. There are more t
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