Oct 062004
 
Authors: Megan Read

CSU announced Wednesday that it had received a $25.2 million,

seven-year contract from the National Institutes of Health to

further its research in the battle against tuberculosis, a

bacterial lung infection that causes 3 million deaths annually.

CSU’s Mycobacteria Research Laboratories of the College of

Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences received the NIH

contract to research drugs and vaccines that fight tuberculosis.

The contract will also help scientists accumulate tuberculosis

research materials to help other researchers around the world

advance their work as well.

John Belisle, director of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories

and principal investigator for the NIH contract, said the grant is

a continuation of a successful and ongoing program.

“Our main focus is to identify products made by bacteria that

are involved in the disease process. We will also develop vaccines,

drugs or diagnostics and accelerate the overall vaccine development

supported by NIH,” Belisle said.

Belisle will be working on a team with several other scientists,

including Angelo Izzo, one of the two primary co-principal

investigators.

“I feel good that we are able to advance the area of

tuberculosis vaccines farther. My involvement is to direct the

vaccine testing components of the contract and to oversee

experiments when candidates of tuberculosis are submitted to

contracts,” Izzo said.

Another research investigator on the NIH contract is Richard

Slayden, who is responsible for the post-genomic technology

development.

“The NIH contract allows us to put necessary effort into

tuberculosis treatment,” Slayden said.

In addition to receiving the contract from NIH this year, the

Mycobacteria Research Laboratories was awarded a five-year, $3

million NIH grant last year that is being used to conduct studies

examining the long-term safety and effectiveness of tuberculosis

vaccines.

CSU administration members were honored to receive this

recognition from NIH.

“There are very few of these contracts awarded,” said Anthony

Frank, vice president for research and information technology at

CSU. “When an institution receives a contact, NIH views the faculty

and scientists as top-notch.”

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