Two of the five Translational Research Pilot Grants awarded to IU Bloomington research teams to complete proof-of-concept projects to advance their work have gone to teams including Department of Biology faculty members.
Nicola Pohl, professor and Joan and Marvin Carmack Chair of Bioorganic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, and Dean Rowe-Magnus, associate professor of biology received $25,000 for their project: "Novel carbohydrate-modified antimicrobial peptides to treat diabetic foot ulcers."
Pohl said diabetes affects more than 22 million people in the United States, and the most common cause of hospitalizations is diabetic foot ulcers. They require long healing times and are at risk for infection, which leads to costly outcomes—$9 billion to $13 billion annually. Pohl, Rowe-Magnus, and Cheng Kao, a professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry and adjunct professor of biology, are designing synthetic derivatives of naturally produced peptides to improve antimicrobial and wound-healing activity, increase stability, and reduce immunomodulatory activity in ulcers.
"Funding will aid in the development and testing of peptides containing novel carbohydrate modifications to create a new class of antibiotics," Pohl said. "This new class would have the potential for greater stability and other properties needed to deliver an effective therapeutic."
Irene Garcia Newton, associate professor of biology, received $25,000 for her project: "A honey bee bacterial symbiont protects against stressors."