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Center for Globalization at Baylor College of Medicine Announces Grant Recipients

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Baylor College of Medicine’s (BCM’s) Center for Globalization announced the 2013 recipients of the Globalization Demonstration Project grants. Of the 45 applicants under consideration, five were chosen for the one-year, $50,000 awards. As announced by BCM, the awardees follow.

Dr. Changyi Johnny Chen, Professor of Surgery at BCM

Infection with the liver fluke (Opisthorchis viverrini) is endemic in Northeast Thailand and is a cause of Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), or bile duct cancer. Since 2008, Chen has established an active collaboration with Khon Kaen University to study molecular targets of CCA. The most critical targets for CCA discovered from their collaboration research are cyclophilin A and the ERK pathway. Thus, the current collaborative project is to carry out a preclinical study to test FDA-approved drugs, Cyclosporin A (CypA inhibitor) and Sorafenib (the ERK pathway inhibitor) in cell culture and animal models of CCA. Once this preclinical study is successfully done, this novel targeted therapy will immediately apply to clinical trials in Thailand.

Dr. Neil Hanchard, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Human Gat BCM

Working with collaborators in Jamaica and Malawi, Hanchard’s project will use epigenomics and genomics to probe the long-standing clinical question of why, when exposed to the same nutritional stress, some children develop the more severe type of childhood malnutrition in which there is swelling in the body, called edema, while others develop the milder, non-edematous type. Answers to this question can be used to develop more effective therapeutic strategies for children with severe malnutrition.

Dr. Graeme Mardon, Professor of Pathology at BCM

Nearly 60 percent of childhood tuberculosis cases in Africa occur in HIV co-infected children, and these individuals have up to a 50-fold greater risk of dying from it than non-HIV-infected children.

Researchers will use a combination of genetics and genomics to identify new genes that control progression to active tuberculosis as an essential first step to developing effective diagnostic and therapeutic tools to treat this devastating combination of diseases.

Dr. Rojelio Mejia, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases and the National School of Tropical Medicine at BCM

Mejia’s project will focus on determining …

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