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May 16, 2013
ULM pharmacy professors awarded $272,000 for research initiatives
University of Louisiana at Monroe Associate Professors of Pharmacy Dr. Khalid El Sayed and Dr. Amal Khalil Kaddoumi have been awarded a combined $272,000 by the Louisiana Board of Regents for research and equipment to enhance pharmaceutical research at ULM.
"College of Pharmacy research faculty continue to be very competitive and successful in the acquisition of extramural funding at the state and federal levels," said Dr. Benny Blaylock, dean of the ULM College of Pharmacy.
"The latest awards to Drs. Kaddoumi and El Sayed are further verification of the excellent work done by them and their colleagues. The College of Pharmacy is very proud of Drs. El Sayed and Kaddoumi for this latest success in funding pharmaceutical research at ULM."
Proposals were reviewed during a three-part process. The Research Competitiveness Subprogram is designed to help researchers in Louisiana who have strong potential to become nationally competitive for research funding.
Kaddoumi, who has taught ULM since 2007, submitted the proposal, "Blood-Brain Barrier Changes in Capillary Amyloid Angiopathy: Development of High Throughput in vitro Model for Assessing BBB Function and Permeability."
That proposal was funded for period of three years at $39,000, each year.
This work will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jeff Keller at Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) building on existing collaborations and the ongoing dementia research between ULM and PBRC as part of the "Louisiana Aging Brain Study."
Blaylock expanded on the importance of the partnership.
He said, "Dr. Kaddoumi's research, in collaboration with Pennington Biomedical Research Center, promises to produce exciting and important results in the explanation of the development of dementia-type diseases."
According to Kaddoumi, "Blood-brain barrier dysfunction has a critical role in Alzheimer's disease and can promote the accumulation of beta amyloid—a hallmark of the disease—in brain blood vessels, and in many cases lead to the initiation of cerebral amyloid angiopathy(CAA)— a leading cause of vascular dementia in the elderly.
Kaddoumi continued, "Exact causes for blood-brain barrier dysfunction in CAA are not well known, thus our proposed studies will focus on the development of high throughput screening to understand the basis for blood-brain barrier dysfunction, identify small molecules that inhibit beta amyloid accumulation and toxicity at the blood-brain barrier, and ultimately inhibit the development of CAA.
El Sayed received $155,000 funding for "A High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry System for Enhancement of ULM Pharmaceutical Research," awarded for the acquisition of equipment to enhance research infrastructure.
Blaylock also commented on the importance of El Sayed's research, stating, "Dr. El Sayed's funding for the Mass Spectrometry system will add very powerful instrumentation for both his research program and those of several other Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences researchers."
El Sayed's proposal states, the "equipment will be used across a broad spectrum of research by a number of faculty."
"This was a perfect example of successful collaborative group efforts," said El Sayed.
"The diversity and potential of several ULM College of Pharmacy faculty research was compelling to the Board of Regents to be on the top of this mechanism's funding priorities. This sort of multi-user state-of-the-art pharmaceutical research technology is strengthening our educational and scholarly capability and represent important infrastructure needed to recognize the ULM College of Pharmacy as Louisiana's future drug discovery center."
El Sayed has taught full-time at ULM since 2003.
According to the BoR's final report, "One hundred twenty-four research proposals requesting a total of $7,184,398 in first-year funds were submitted for funding consideration in fiscal year (FY) 2012-13 to the Research Competitiveness Subprogram."
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