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North Carolina Biotechnology Center Delivers $595,325 in Research Grants


8/11/2011 11:50:03 AM

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. August 11, 2011 -- The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has issued $595,325 in Biotechnology Research Grants to eight scientists at seven institutions from Charlotte to the coast.

The grants, providing a maximum of $75,000, support novel research projects at academic and non-profit research institutions. Scientists gather preliminary data that enable them to attract additional funding. Historically this program has leveraged $2.46 in additional funding for each $1 granted.

This year’s awarded projects range from an exploration of a new anti-viral compound found in a tiny marine creature to research into developing a promising new material that can be absorbed by the body while closing cleft palates.

Grants awarded are:

- $73,500 to Mingxing Wang, Ph.D., of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, to improve the delivery vehicle of therapeutics used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other diseases.

- $73,790 to Beth Thompson, Ph.D., of East Carolina University, to develop techniques that can control floral development in maize plants, potentially a way to increase yields.

- $75,000 to Shengmin Sang, Ph.D., of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, to study the combination of aspirin and a natural compound found in blueberries, which may create a more effective way to prevent colon cancer.

- $75,000 to Jonathan Sexton, Ph.D., of North Carolina Central University in Durham, to develop a new way to screen compounds to treat diabetes.

- $75,000 to Adam Hall, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to develop a device to examine DNA-associated proteins as a diagnostic tool.

- $75,000 to Nicholas Oberlies, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to explore natural products found in fungi for useful compounds, such as anti-cancer medicines.

- $74,961 to Jeffrey Wright, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, to conduct chemical and biological studies on a new anti-viral compound derived from marine dinoflagellates, a type of micro-algae, grown in the lab.

- $73,074 to William Wagner, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, to develop a new material that can be absorbed by the body while closing cleft palates.

More than $3,042,000 in Biotechnology Research Grants has been awarded to 44 North Carolina scientists at 12 institutions since the program was started in 2006.

Scientists at the main campuses of Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are not eligible for these grants. They are eligible for other Biotechnology Center funding programs.

The pre-proposal deadline for the 2011-12 funding cycle is at noon on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

The Biotechnology Center is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide.

Contact: Robin Deacle, vice president of corporate communications, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, at robin_deacle@ncbiotech.org or 919-541-9366. Visit the Biotechnology Center's Web site at www.ncbiotech.org.



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