Grants Reflect Faculty's Commitment to Scholarship
March 24, 2005

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Mercer professors from across the University have been awarded numerous competitive research grants during the past year. These prestigious grants enable faculty and students to conduct scholarly research that benefits the greater community. Below are details of a few of the grants Mercer faculty have been awarded. Also see below for a full listing of research grants awarded to Mercer faculty since June, provided by the Office of Grants and Contracts.

College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Arthur Salido, assistant professor of chemistry in Mercer's College of Liberal Arts, was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Totaling $102,000, the grant has enabled Mercer chemistry, environmental science and environmental engineering students to work with Inductively-Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry— a cutting-edge instrument used in determining metals in samples and investigating air and water contamination.
 
The new lab instrument will also promote collaboration between Mercer undergraduates and local high school students, according to Salido.  He said that with the addition of this new device to Mercer's chemistry lab will enable Mercer to invite high school students to come to the University and to participate in college-level research.
 
One of Salido's colleagues in the Chemistry Department was also awarded a competitive NSF Grant. Dr. Caryn Seney, associate professor of chemistry at Mercer, and Dr. Robin Bright of Fort Valley State University were awarded a three-year grant totaling $244,752 from NSF. Mercer will receive $178,552 of the total grant. The funding has allowed Mercer to purchase multiple types of lasers and detectors, which have been used to build a sensitive Raman spectrophotometer— an advanced instrument used in measuring light and molecular interactions. 
 
With the addition of this new equipment, Mercer students are now immersed in a research environment similar to what they would experience in industry or graduate school, said Seney. Mercer senior Josh Yelverton is currently using the new equipment for his senior research project in which he is studying the interaction of antibodies and antigens. The grant will also enable undergraduate students to conduct summer research in Mercer's chemistry lab.
 
School of Medicine
Dr. James L. Thomas, assistant professor of pharmacology in the Division of Basic Medical Sciences of the Mercer School of Medicine, received a grant of $928,000 from the National Institutes of Health. With this NIH award, Thomas is examining a new target protein for the treatment of breast and prostate cancer. His analysis of the enzyme allows for the design of inhibitors specific for the enzyme in tumors that will not also inhibit a different form of the enzyme in the adrenal gland. His study could lead to the development of better treatments for breast and prostate cancer.

Southern School of Pharmacy
At the Southern School of Pharmacy, Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences,was awarded grants totaling about $296,000 from Altea Therapeutics Corp. to conduct studies on a  drug-delivery method called thermal microporation. The painless method involves creating microscopic holes in the skin much smaller than those created by a needle or syringe. With the grant, Banga will explore delivering hydromorphone and insulin using this method.

The pharmacy professor was also awarded a grant of $199,200 from the
European headquarters of Solvay Pharmaceuticals to explore delivering drugs through electrically activated skin patches, a process called iontophoretic delivery. If successful, Solvay will explore ways to bring the process to market with a strategic partner, Banga said. With both projects Banga will be working with Ph.D. students and post-doctoral scholars from the Southern School of Pharmacy.
A Sign of Excellence

"These exemplary projects are yet another indicator of the significance of the work of Mercer's remarkable faculty," said Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, associate provost for research and sponsored programs at Mercer. "It is wonderful to see the excellent and important work of Mercer's teacher-scholars recognized by outside evaluators and extramural funding agencies, and it will be exciting to see the impact the projects will have on our students and the learning environment at Mercer as well as on the world beyond our university. "
 

 

Research Grants Awarded - June 1, 2004 - March 1, 2005

 

Principal Investigator

Project Title

Sponsor Name

Ajay Banga

Transdermal Delivery of Proteins and Peptides by thermal Microporation

Altea Therapeutics

Ajay Banga

Transdermal Delivery of Small Molecules by Thermal Microporation

Altea Therapeutics

Ajay Banga

Evaluation of Drug Formulations for Transdermal Delivery

Undisclosed client

Ajay Banga

Screening of Therapeutic chemical/Biological Entities for Transdermal and/or Iontophoretic Delivery

Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ajay Banga

Transdermal Delivery of Nicotine and its Salts - Issues and Innovations

GlaxoSmithKline

Ajay Banga

Delivery of NSAIDs into Skin by Iontophoresis and Sampling by Microdialysis

Travanti Pharma Inc.

Christy Bridges

Renal Uptake of Mercury

National Institutes of Health/DHHS

Michael Brown

Molecular Determinants of Mitochondrial Optic Atrophy

National Eye Institute/NIH/DHHS

Mark Dorogy

EVENT REGISTRY: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Registry to Evaluate the Incidence of Majo

Baylor College of Medicine

Martin D'Souza

The Effect of Endothelial Uptake of Microencapsulated Anti-Sense Oligomers to NF-kB and Catalase on

Dialysis Clinic

Martin D'Souza

Evaluation of the Effect of Microencapsulated Anti-Cytokine Drugs on Arthritis

Dialysis Clinic

Michael Jann

Formulary Development and Periodic Update for the Georgia Division of Public Health Cancer State Aid

Georgia Department of Human Resources

Michael Jann

Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Bioavailability of Cilostazol Capsule-05, Cilostazol Capsule-06, Ci

Lipocine, Inc.

Harold Katner

ENHANCE Study - Protocol #ML 18021 "A 48-Week, Randomized, Open Label, Multicenter, Prospective Stu

Roche Laboratories, Inc.

Harold Katner

A Phase II Open Label 48-Week Trial of TMC 114/RTV in HIV-1 Infected Subjects Who Failed Trial Tre

Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.

Harold Katner

Protocol Number AI 424128 A Phase IV, Multi-Center Cross Sectional Study to Evaluate the I50L Substi

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Laura Lackey

Professional Ethics and Engineering: An Assessment Approach

Colorado School of Mines

Diane Matesic

Action of Novel Anti-Tumor Agents on Cell Communication

National Institutes of Health/DHHS

 

 

 

Philip McCreanor

Florida Bioreactor Landfill Demonstration Project: 2005

University of Central Florida

Janet Piskurich

Induction of CIITA Expression in B Cells and Myeloma

National Institutes of Health/DHHS

Arthur Salido

Implementation of Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry in Chemistry, Environment

National Science Foundation

Caryn Seney

RUI-Studies of Antigen/Antibody Interactions with Colloidal Particles

National Science Foundation

Samuel Shillcutt

DHR Contract - MHDDAD (Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases))

Georgia Department of Human Resources

Samuel Shillcutt

A Multicenter Randomized, Double-Blind, Study on the effect of Aripiprazole on Overweight Patients T

Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute

Jeffrey Stephens

A Randomized Prospective Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of Two Doses of GW433908/Ri

GlaxoSmithKline

James Thomas

Placental 3 beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase/Isomerase

National Institutes of Health/DHHS

Joanna Watson

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Action Plan for a Multiple National Monument Cont

National Park Service/Department of the Interior

Rudolfs Zalups

Metallothioneiin, Mercury and Monocyte Activation

National Institutes of Health/DHHS

Rudolfs Zalups

Transport and Toxicity of Mercury in the Nephron

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH/DHHS


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