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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dr. Walters Awarded a Minnesota Partnership Grant

Dr. Michael Walters of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development has been awarded one of six recent grants from the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. Dr. Walters project "Precision Medicine of Aromatase Inhibitors in Post-Menopausal Women with ER+ Breast Cancer," seeks to use DNA sequencing to study the unique responses that different individuals have to aromatase inhibitors, which are often a first treatment step to the most common type of breast cancer. By studying DNA differences, Dr. Walters hopes to offer clinicians new ways to individualize breast cancer treatment and to better understand resistances to treatment. This seed grant is supported by state funding. You can read more about the grant in the Twin Cities Business article.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dr. Nelson Featured in Article on Turmeric Claims

Dr. Kathryn Nelson, principle scientist in the Walters laboratory, was recently interviewed for an article in the Washington Post raises doubts about recent claims that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, may be effective in fighting arthritis, depression, and even cancer. As the article states, "If turmeric does have benefits, Nelson suggests, curcumin may not be the compound that delivers them. 'There are things that can fool you into thinking a compound is active when it’s not,' she says. (Active compounds are ones that have an actual effect on the body.) She notes that many studies mix curcumin with oils or other substances and that clinical trials are inconsistent in how they use the compound." Read the full article here.

Dr. Aldrich Cited in Articles on Psilocybin Mushroom Research

Dr. Courtney Aldrich was recently quoted in an article by Chemical & Engineering News discussing recent breakthroughs in identifying enzymes that characterize the psilocybin compound found in "magic mushrooms." As Dr. Aldrich explains in the article, "The new work lays the foundation for developing a fermentation process for production of this powerful psychedelic fungal drug, which has a fascinating history and pharmacology.” He is also cited in a similar article by Gizmodo,"Scientists Finally Unlock the Recipe for Magic Mushrooms."

Read more here and here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bloomberg References U of M Research into the Male Contraceptive

A recent article by Bloomberg titled "Why We Can't Have the Male Pill" makes reference to the University's efforts, headed by Dr. Gunda Georg, to create a new male contraceptive that targets sperm directly.  Read the full article here.

Dr. Walters Featured in Daily Express Article

Dr. Michael Walters is cited in a recent article by the Daily Express questioning claims that curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, could be beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and obesity. Read the full article here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Medicinal Chemistry Faculty Awarded Grant Funding

Congratulations to faculty members who were recently awarded grants for their ongoing research!:

  • Dr. Sunil David received an award of $300K from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to support additional studies related to his ongoing work on vaccines for the Zika virus.
  • Dr. Mark Distefano, along with Dr. Ling Li, received a $1.875M National Institutes of Health award for their project, "Dysregulation of Protein Prenylation in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease."
  • Dr. Natalia Tretyakova received a $1,581,939 National Institutes of Health grant for her project, "DNA Cross-Linking By Diepoxybutane."

Dr. Peter Dosa Receives a Promotion

Congratulations to Dr. Peter Dosa who was promoted to Affiliate Research Associate Professor!