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Case Western Med School Receives $6.4M in NIH Funding

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have received more than $6.4 million in grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health for research that includes proteomics and cancer genetics, the school announced today.

In one grant, Mark Chance, director of the Center of Proteomics and Bioinformatics, and Henry Boom, director of the Tuberculosis Research Unit, will lead a team of multidisciplinary experts in proteomics, genetic epidemiology, and cytokine biology to study a population "within the spectrum" of Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure, infection, and disease in the US, Uganda, and South Africa.

The team will apply novel systems biology approaches to latent infection of the disease, according to the school. Using a proteomics approach to identify protein-protein interaction networks, the researchers will analyze latent MTB infection in humans "and link proteomic results with parallel studies using human genetic and systemic chemo- [and] cytokine approaches to understanding the disease's pathogenesis."

The researchers are being funded with a grant of more than $750,000 from NIH and may receive up to $2.8 million over the next four years, the school of medicine said.

Also, members of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center will participate in a National Cancer Institute multi-site prospective study of glioma patients within the state. The researchers will receive an NIH contract of $715,000 with a chance to extend it to more than $2.5 million. The researchers will be part of The Cancer Genome Atlas. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, assistant professor of general medical sciences, will be principal investigator on the project.

Newly diagnosed patients with gliomas will be prospectively accrued from Barnholtz-Sloan's Ohio Brain Tumor Study (OBTS), a multi-site study within Ohio that includes Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals, Case Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic Brain Tumor Center, the Department of Neurosurgery at the Ohio State University Medical Center, and the Department of Neurosurgery at the Mayfield Clinic/University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The department of bioethics was awarded a $2.5 million continuation grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to extend funding for its Center for Genetic Research Ethics and law for another four years. Case Western's CGREAL is a national NIH Center of Excellence in Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Research.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center also received a $2.5 million grant from NCI to evaluate the introduction and expression of the modified MGMT gene in hematopoietic stem cells to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy from glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and most aggressive type of primary brain tumor in humans. The Phase I clinical trial will enable bone marrow to repair DNA alkylation by allowing patients to endure higher doses of chemotherapy.