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ICIDR Grant for Penn Vet to Study Leishmaniasis in Brazil

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November 23, 2010, Volume 57, No. 13

 

Scott

Dr. Phillip Scott, associate dean for research and professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, was recently awarded an International Collaborations in Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) grant. The grant for Myeloid-lineage cells and immunopathology in Leishmania braziliensis, is from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), one of the 27 institutes and centers comprising the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The 5-year grant will commence on December 1, 2010 with a total budget of more than $2.75 million. It is the first ICIDR grant awarded to the University of Pennsylvania since the inception of the ICIDR grant more than 30 years ago, and is one of only 12 awarded in 2010.

With these funds, researchers will gather fundamental information about myeloid-lineage cells (specifically monocytes and dendritic cells) present in people infected with Leishmania braziliensis, the species of Leishmania that causes a major zoonotic public health problem in Brazil. Leishmaniasis is a chronic protozoal infection, causing severe morbidity throughout the world in people and animals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease threatens 350 million people in 88 countries worldwide with an estimated 2 million new cases of leishmaniasis per year. Currently, WHO estimates that 12 million people are currently infected with the disease worldwide.

Researchers will aim to use their findings in order to develop new treatments for leishmaniasis, as well as other inflammatory diseases. In addition, the study will determine if the relative frequency of certain monocyte subsets and/or their secreted products can serve as early predictive biomarkers of treatment success in leishmaniasis patients. If successful, such biomarkers will allow clinicians to rapidly move to more aggressive forms of treatment when needed.

The project involves collaborations between Penn (Dr. Scott), the University of Maryland (Dr. David Mosser) and the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil (Dr. Edgar Carvalho). The field site for these studies is Corte de Pedra, Brazil, where leishmaniasis is endemic.

Penn Vet researchers currently have the most NIH grants of all vet schools in the country, attesting to the School’s strong basic and clinical research programs in infectious diseases, immunology, neuroscience, cancer, and stem cell biology.

Dr. Phillip Scott, associate dean for research and professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, was recently awarded an International Collaborations in Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) grant. The grant for Myeloid-lineage cells and immunopathology in Leishmania braziliensis, is from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), one of the 27 institutes and centers comprising the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The 5-year grant will commence on December 1, 2010 with a total budget of more than $2.75 million. It is the first ICIDR grant awarded to the University of Pennsylvania since the inception of the ICIDR grant more than 30 years ago, and is one of only 12 awarded in 2010.

With these funds, researchers will gather fundamental information about myeloid-lineage cells (specifically monocytes and dendritic cells) present in people infected with Leishmania braziliensis, the species of Leishmania that causes a major zoonotic public health problem in Brazil. Leishmaniasis is a chronic protozoal infection, causing severe morbidity throughout the world in people and animals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease threatens 350 million people in 88 countries worldwide with an estimated 2 million new cases of leishmaniasis per year. Currently, WHO estimates that 12 million people are currently infected with the disease worldwide.

Researchers will aim to use their findings in order to develop new treatments for leishmaniasis, as well as other inflammatory diseases. In addition, the study will determine if the relative frequency of certain monocyte subsets and/or their secreted products can serve as early predictive biomarkers of treatment success in leishmaniasis patients. If successful, such biomarkers will allow clinicians to rapidly move to more aggressive forms of treatment when needed.

The project involves collaborations between Penn (Dr. Scott), the University of Maryland (Dr. David Mosser) and the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil (Dr. Edgar Carvalho). The field site for these studies is Corte de Pedra, Brazil, where leishmaniasis is endemic.

Penn Vet researchers currently have the most NIH grants of all vet schools in the country, attesting to the School’s strong basic and clinical research programs in infectious diseases, immunology, neuroscience, cancer, and stem cell biology.

Almanac - November 23, 2010, Volume 57, No. 13