Grant: $12,033 - National Institutes of Health - Jun. 2, 2009
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Award Description: Tropical parasitic and infectious disease pose some of the greatest threats to global health. With the emergence of resistant strains the need for new treatments becomes ever more critical. For example, over 1 million people, mainly African children, die each year from malaria. In US hospitals strains of pathogenic bacteria with resistance to all clinically useful antibiotics have begun to emerge. The overarching goal of the ICBG in Panama is the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of disease and the subsequent improvement of human health in both the developing and developed world. Its focus is on the isolation of novel, bioactive compounds from a broad range of micoorganisms from a variety of sources. The project has accumulated a culture collection of over 3000 endophytic fungi which have been screened for activity against malaria, Chagas disease, leishmania and cancer but has never been screened for activity against bacteria. A student has been employed to assist in the isolation and cultivation of a diverse range of bacteria and fungi from leaves, soil and water and the screen the fungal library for antibacterial activity. She is being trained in the basic skills of sterile technique, media preparation, isolationa nd storage of microorganisms and their cultivation under a range of different conditions. She will begin to conduct bioassays shortly. During the 12 weeks of her time in our lab it is hoped that she will sucessfully add considerably to our fungal and bacterial culture collections as well as conduct extensive bioassays of these isolates. Her work with different culture conditions and media is expected to have a significant impact on our search for novel, bioactive organisms. We also hope that her time here serves as a valuable learning experience both for herself and for the Panamanians she is working along side.
Project Description: There are two mail goals for this award. Firstly, the student is assisting us in developing, expanding and characterizing our culture collection of Actinomycetes. She has been working to isolate these organisms from a variety of terrestrial sources including leaves, lichens and soils and is growing them in a variety of media to optimize their production of secondary metabolites. She will shortly begin to conduct antibiotic bioassays. It is hoped that her work here will result in the isolation of a number of interesting, bioactive bacteria and, ultimately, the identification of some interesting lead compounds. Secondly, the student is being trained in the basic skills of microbiology and is learning to work in a laboratory environment. It is hoped that her time here will significantly aid her search for future positions in science and encourage her to continue her studies for the Masters or Ph.D. degree.
Jobs Summary: None (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 2, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.