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Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Awards
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March 31, 2009, Volume 55, No. 27

Transdisciplinary Award Program

We are delighted to announce the fourth round of successful applications for the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics’ (ITMAT) Transdisciplinary Award Program (TAPITMAT), supported by the School of Medicine. The quality of all applications was extremely high and the funding decisions, made by members of the Internal Advisory Board, were extremely difficult.

The selected projects range across the breadth of biology, integrate diverse disciplines and investigators from many schools of Penn, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Wistar Institute reflecting their interaction in the context of the Clinical and Translational Science Award. They are uniformly of high scientific quality, interdisciplinary and translational in nature.

ITMAT is delighted with the number and quality of applications responsive to this call for awards and will continue to develop the program further in future years.

Recipients:

Exposure to prenatal inflammation and adverse neurobehavioral outcomes—Dr. Michal Elovitz, department of obstetrics and gynecology, School of Medicine and Dr. Edward Brodkin, department of psychiatry, School of Medicine

Development of a Novel Therapeutic Strategy for Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD2B)—Dr. Khurana Tejvir, department of physiology, School of Medicine; Dr. Samuel Lamitina,  department of physiology, School of Medicine and Dr. Paola Arratia, department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Structural basis for ALK inhibition therapies—Dr. John Maris, department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine; Dr. Mark Lemmon,  department of biochemistry and biophysics, School of Medicine, and Dr. Yael Mosse, department of pediatrics, School of Medicine

Development of New Antibiotics against Mycobacterium tuberculosis based on the Oxidative Phosphorylation System—Dr. Harvey Rubin, department of medicine, School of Medicine,and Dr. Jeffrey Winkler, department of chemistry, School of Arts and Sciences

Development of small molecule inhibitors of human complement factor B­—Dr. Wenchao Song, department of pharmacology, School of Medicine and Dr. Zhijun Li,  department of chemistry and biochemistry, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Therapeutic Development for Friedreich Ataxia—Dr. Robert Wilson, department of pathology and laboratory medicine, School of Medicine; Dr. Amos Smith, department of chemistry, School of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Donna Huryn, department of chemistry, School of Arts and Sciences

For more information, please visit our website at www.itmat.upenn.edu.

—Dr. Garret A. FitzGerald, Director, ITMAT

Chemical Biology in Translation Program

The Chemical Biology in Translation (CBIT) Program of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) announces its third round of successful applications for High Throughput Screening (HTS).

CBIT’s mission is to work with Penn, CHOP, and Wistar scientists to screen biological targets of clinical relevance against chemical libraries through the use of robotic instrumentation. Small molecules identified through HTS are then subject to hit-to-lead optimization chemistry. CBIT is co-directed by Drs. Scott L. Diamond and William DeGrado.

Recipients:

Inhibiting the c-Myb Protooncogene (Dr. Alan Gewirtz, department of medicine, School of Medicine)

A High-throughput Chemical Screen to Discover Modifiers of TDP-43 Cellular Toxicity in a Yeast TDP-43 Proteinopathy Model (Dr. Aaron Gitler, department of cell and developmental biology, School of Medicine)

High Throughput Screening of the BRCA1-Associated BRCC36 Metalloprotease (Dr. Roger Greenberg, department of cancer biology, School of Medicine)

For more information, please visit the ITMAT website at www.itmat.upenn.edu or the Penn Center for Molecular Discovery (PCMD) website at www.seas.upenn.edu/~pcmd/.

—Dr. William DeGrado, Co-Director, CBIT
—Dr. Scott Diamond, Co-Director, CBIT
—Dr. Garret A. FitzGerald, Director, ITMAT

Program in Targeted Therapeutics

The Program in Targeted Therapeutics (PTT) of the Institute for Translational medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) announces its first round of successful applications for Pilot Grants.

The mission of these grants is to support early-stage experimental preclinical studies in targeted therapeutics and thus assist investigators in obtaining key data to seek extramural funding. PTT is directed by Drs. Vladimir Muzykantov and Andrew Tsourkas.

Recipients:

A novel HDL particle for imaging atherosclerotic plaques (Dr. Rong Zhou, department of radiology, School of Medicine and Dr. I-Wei Chen, department of material science and engineering, School of Applied Science and Engineering)

Magnetically targeted delivery of drug-loaded non-polymeric biodegradable nanoparticles for prevention of in-stent restenosis (Dr. Michael Chorny, department of pediatrics, School of Medicine)

For more information, please visit the ITMAT website at www.itmat.upenn.edu.

—Dr. Vladimir Muzykantov, Director, PTT
—Dr. Andrew Tsourkas, Associate Director, PTT
—Dr. Garret A. FitzGerald, Director, ITMAT

Almanac - March 31, 2009, Volume 55, No. 27