Stony Brook University-BNL Research Team Receives DOD Grant To Develop Botulism Antidote

University News

Stony Brook University-BNL Research Team Receives DOD Grant To Develop Botulism AntidoteInstitute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery will collaborate with Brookhaven National Laboratory on Multidisciplinary Research Project

STONY BROOK, N.Y., January 29, 2010 – The Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery(ICB&DD) at Stony Brook has been awarded a $1.4 million grant by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense to develop an antidote to botulism, a rare but potentially fatal disease that could potentially be used in biowarfare. 
The exploratory grant award, which can be expanded to a larger project grant, is for two years and is the first research consortium grant that ICB&DD has received in partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).    
“This is a critical area for biodefense and public health,” said Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD, President of Stony Brook University. “I am pleased that Stony Brook scientists and their collaborators have created a multidisciplinary team to develop a new therapy for these neurotoxins.” 
The ICB&DD team for the research project on Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitors consists of Drs. Subramanyan Swaminathan at BNL, Department of Biology; Iwao Ojima, Distinguished Professor and Director of the ICBⅅ Peter Tonge, Department of Chemistry; and Robert Rizzo, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics.
“This is a very interesting and promising multidisciplinary research project,” said Dr. Ojima. “These cross-boundary collaborations are essential for the future success in biomedical sciences and science as a whole.”
The project is entitled “Structure-Based Discovery of Pan-Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitors.” Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the toxins that cause botulism, are the most potent toxins known to humans and are considered to be potential biowarfare agents. As a consequence, these neurotoxins are classified as Category A priority pathogens by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, the only treatment for botulism is antibody based, which is not be effective once …

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