Tuesday PM July 7th, 2009

A federal stimulus grant has been awarded to the University of Texas Health Science Center for Parkinson's disease research. Ed Mayberry reports.
image of vaccine

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is receiving $412,500 to fund a two-year grant supporting researchers at the university's Brown Foundation of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Disease, as Peter Davies explains.

"The Health Science Center submitted over 300 applications for various stimulus programs in the last several months, and now we're just starting to see the first of these awards coming back to the university."

Davies says the fund comes from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"And I think it really highlights some of the features that we see so important about the stimulus program, as an award for some very innovative research that wasn't otherwise going to be funded.  So it allowed some promising work to be carried forward.  And it's work that will involve hiring new people, creating new jobs at the same time."  

The money will help develop a therapeutic vaccine for Parkinson's.  Rowen Chang is principal investigator.

"Now this grant will allow us to develop a novel vaccine for treatment of Parkinson's disease, now which, you know, is a major neurological disease in this country.  This will be achieved by targeting the reduction of a specific brain protein.  Now, we will use this grant to develop this new vaccine, and of course, we need to hire additional scientists to participate in this project."

Chang plans to add one or two researchers to the team of scientists in his lab with the funds.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...