From small creatures could come big discoveries, University of Kansas researchers say.
An $11 million grant over five years will help Susan Lunte and other researchers study diseases at the molecular level, and possibly help human sufferers, Lunte said from her office in Lawrence this week.
Parts of the study will involve molecular studies of model organisms such as zebra fish, fruit flies and tiny nematode worms only microns long. They may not resemble human beings much. But they have many of the same genes humans have, she said. They replicate fast, a trait helpful to scientists.
We have some really talented biologists here, and they can look at different disease pathways with these worms, hopefully leading us to a better understanding of diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease.
Money from the National Institutes of Health will create a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence: the Center for the Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways, KU officials said. The grant was awarded to Lunte, a professor in the departments of chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry and director of the Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry.