Archive for September, 2011
From carbon-capture technologies to new ways to attack cancer, the research of GRA Eminent Scholars is making news around the globe. A few recent examples follow.
GRA Eminent Scholar Bill Koros and co-principal investigator Christopher Jones, both professors in the Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, are recipients of two of 16 U.S. Department of Energy awards that focus on developing post-combustion technologies for capturing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants.
Koros will receive $2.4 million over three years to work with GE Global Research on developing new bench scale polymer membranes. Jones, also receiving $2.4 million, will focus on the use of amine sorbent-loaded hollow fibers for CO2 capture. Read more here>
Researchers in the laboratory of GRA Eminent Scholar Rafi Ahmed, director of the Emory Vaccine Center, are making progress in tackling the challenge of helping the immune system in its fight against chronic infections like HIV and hepatitis C. The researchers have identified the conditions under which memory T cells that develop against the initial infection are lost over time. The scientists expect that this knowledge will help to inform the development of vaccines that quickly control a potentially chronic infection or prevent it from gaining a foothold. Read more here>
Also a GRA Eminent Scholar at Emory University, Xiaodong Cheng, and GRA Distinguished Investigator Haian Fu have identified a new type of potential anticancer drug which targets proteins that are key to the rapid growth of cancer cells. Their findings suggest that the compound FOBISIN formulated as a “pro-drug,” in combination with radiation therapy, could fight a number of types of cancer, including lung and breast. Read more here>
The work of GRA Eminent Scholar Andrew Mellor at Georgia Health Sciences University was the cover story for the most recent issue of the Journal of Immunology. Mellor and colleague David Munn led a research team that in 1998 made the fundamental discovery of the role of the enzyme IDO in preventing a mother’s immune system from rejecting a fetus. Their subsequent studies have focused on ways to manipulate IDO to help the immune system reject a tumor, accept a transplanted organ, treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and fight chronic infections. Read more here>
Barbara Boyan, GRA Eminent Scholar in Tissue Engineering at Georgia Tech, and a team of other Georgia Tech bioengineers and surgeons at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, are working on imaging tools and biomaterials to treat infants with premature skull bone fusion. The condition, called craniosynostosis, affects approximately 1 in every 2,500 babies in the United States and typically requires a lengthy surgery after birth to remove some of the fused bone and insert plates and screws. A second, and sometimes a third, surgery may be necessary. One group is developing algorithms to analyze images of the developing skull to diagnose and determine the severity of craniosynostosis; others have developed a hydrogel that could deliver proteins to delay, but not prevent, bone growth, allowing the brain to heal post-surgery. Read more here>
Governor Nathan Deal joined the GRA Board of Trustees meeting September 8 and asked for their help in expanding the availability of venture capital funds in Georgia. Noting that great companies that are born and nurtured in Georgia get “siphoned away” for lack of financing and venture capital at the intermediate stage, he said that we need to explore every avenue to keep them here. The Governor also praised the Board for guiding GRA’s accomplishments over the past 20 years and sought their continued leadership as GRA takes on the direction of the of the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Centers of Innovation. Read Maria Saporta’s report on the meeting here>