Posts filed under ‘Centers of Research Excellence’
Governor Nathan Deal praised the power of partnerships in announcing that the National Institutes of Health has awarded $8.3 million to Emory University as initial funding for the Autism Center of Excellence (ACE). The Center, one of only three in the nation, is a collaboration of Emory University, the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory. Other collaborators include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Tech.
GRA Eminent Scholar Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center, will lead the ACE in its research, which will focus on early diagnosis and treatment of autism and related disorders. “It’s a unique community of scientists, but it’s also truly a city-wide commitment to tackle this public health issue in an unprecedented, concerted fashion,” Klin said. “What really makes this effort so different is the fact that all these institutions have come together to face this enormous challenge.”
Mike Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance said, “What Ami and his team are about is transformational. They are embracing what Ami calls ‘the science of clinical care.’ With Ami’s new view on science, coupled with the support of Bernie and Billi Marcus, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University, the Woodruff Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the state of Georgia, and many others, the Marcus Center is now poised to create a brighter future for children and their families.”
The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to Emory University’s Center for C-H Functionalization. Dr. Huw Davies, professor of chemistry at Emory, directs the center, which brings together scientists from research universities across to the country to revolutionize the field of organic synthesis. Most of the synthetic products we use every day — from clothes to medications — are derived from organic synthesis.
“Today, more than ever, new products and materials need to be made efficiently and in environmentally sustainable ways,” said Davies. “We believe that C-H functionalization will have a huge impact on the development of new drugs and other fine-chemical products.”
Ultimately, the center aims to open new chemical space for exploration. “It’s like a farmer being able to grow crops in the desert, or in Antarctica,” Davies explains. “C-H functionalization represents a whole new way for chemists to synthesize materials in what were once barren sites. It opens the possibility for materials that are completely different from anything we’ve known.”
The Georgia Research Alliance helped to recruit Davies to Emory and has invested in state-of-the-art equipment for his laboratory. Read more here>
A collaboration of 38 scientists at 8 universities, led by GRA Eminent Scholar Jeff Bennetzen at the University of Georgia, has uncovered and mapped the genetic sequence of foxtail millet. The research provides a powerful new tool for increasing biofuel and crop yields.
According to Bennetzen, the sequence and map will help to guide scientists to genes that influence traits like disease resistance, drought tolerance and cell wall composition. “Once those genes are identified, breeders can develop crops the require less water or pesticides, for example, or develop plants that can be easily converted to biofuels,” Bennetzen said.
The team also sequenced green foxtail, a relative of foxtail millet. Commenting on this process, Bennetzen said that green foxtail is not only an excellent model for switchgrass but also may serve as a model for all grasses, the source of over half of the world’s food.
The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy BioEnergy Science Center; the Georgia Research Alliance provided matching funds to help to make UGA, in collaboration with Georgia Tech, the BESC academic leader. Read more>
The Emory Vaccine Center, under the leadership of GRA Eminent Scholar Rafi Ahmed, is partnering with 42 universities and research institutions in 13 countries to accelerate human vaccine development through a new collaborative research program called Advanced Immunization Technologies (ADITEC).
The partnership, led by Novartis, was launched October 1 with 30 million euros in funding over five years from the European Union and 11 million euros in co-funding from collaborating organizations. ADITEC will develop new technologies and a robust platform for innovation in the next generation of human vaccines. Read more here>
Emory Vaccine Center researchers have developed a way to predict whether a person will produce high levels of antibodies against the flu just a few days after the vaccination. According to lead researcher Bali Pulendran, PhD, the ability to predict who will develop sufficient levels of protective antibodies and identify non-responders quickly would be of great value from a public health perspective.
Scientists at the University of Georgia have developed a nanotechnology-based technique for diagnosing Mycoplasma pneumoniae — commonly called “walking” pneumonia — in minutes rather than the days now normally needed to get test results. According to the researchers, this rapid diagnosis allows treatment to begin more quickly, reducing the consequences to the patient and limiting the likelihood the condition will spread to others.
The diagnostic test is built on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy using silver nanorod arrays, developed in the UGA Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. Both the research and the Center are supported by investments from the Georgia Research Alliance. Read more here>
With official groundbreaking ceremonies June 15, Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta launched construction of a $90 million Health Sciences research Building. The project, with more than half of its focus on pediatric research, is scheduled to open in April 2013. Collaborating with Emory are Georgia Tech and the Morehouse School of Medicine. The Georgia Research Alliance has joined an array of foundations in supporting the project. Read more here > and here >