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Weill Cornell Funded for Metabolomics Research into Tuberculosis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation has awarded funding to Weill Cornell Medical College funding in support of a project to measure and analyze the permeability of chemical compounds into Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, the college announced on Thursday.

The amount of the funding was not disclosed.

The funding supports work being performed by a visiting Well Cornell researcher at the Tres Cantos Open Lab in Spain using metabolomics technology developed by Weill Cornell. The research seeks to identify chemical principles that could be used potentially to transform chemical inhibitors into active drugs. Its goal is to monitor the intracellular accumulation of potential drugs and elucidate associations between cell permeability and anti-tubercular activity.

As part of the project, anti-tuberculosis compounds from GlaxoSmithKline's compound library will be screened and investigated. The Tres Cantos Open Lab is based at GSK's Tres Cantos Medicines Development Campus.

"We have adapted our metabolomic tools to monitor the intracellular accumulation, transformation and biochemical events of currently available drugs against [Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria], " Kyu Rhee, the prinicipal investigator on the project, and an associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell, said in a statement. "As a result, mass spectrometry can now be used to test new chemical compounds, as well as the current cocktail of drugs used to treat TB, and find ways to improve them.. With mass spectrometry, and now the latest metabolomics assay we developed and are testing, we aim to design and test the much-needed next generation of effective anti-TB agents."