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Pharmacy Professors Receive Grants for Research

Oct 28, 2008
Dr. Tarek Mahfouz and Dr. Janelle S. Crossgrove-Hart of Ohio Northern University's Raabe College of Pharmacy have each received a $10,000 New Investors Program grant from the American Association of College of Pharmacy (AACP).

Mahfouz is an assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry. His research interests focus on computer-aided drug design and molecular modeling of proteins and other molecules of medical interest. He is working on several projects, but he received the New Investors Program grant for his current project, "Structure-based Design of Broad-spectrum Glutamate Racemase Inhibitors."

"Grant money will be used to support my summer research by providing the salary for one student and funds to purchase a drug design software license, chemicals and equipment for enzyme and whole-cell analysis," said Mahfouz.

Crossgrove-Hart is an assistant professor of toxicology and studies changes in the body's natural defense mechanisms, such as the blood-brain barrier and blood-CSF barrier that may contribute to the formation or development of neurodegenerative diseases. Her project is "Sex Differences in Beta-Amyloid Removal Removal and the Blood-CSF Barrier" and explores the findings of some epidemiologic studies that have demonstrated that women are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than men.

"The funds provided through the New Investigators Program will support our study to determine differences in the ability of males and females to remove beta-amyloid, the toxic peptide in Alzheimer's disease, from the brain," said Crossgrove-Hart.

By identifying the normal mechanisms for removing beta-amyloid, researchers may be able to develop drugs that would delay or prevent Alzheimer's disease.