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August 30, 2010
By Anne McMillin
Three faculty members from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine have recently earned grants totaling $3.97 million to further research in infectious disease.
Gregory S. Pari, Ph.D., professor and chair in the department, has been awarded five-year $1.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease for his work to characterize the human cytomegalovirus UL84 protein, a key factor in DNA replication of infectious diseases.
David AuCoin, Ph.D., assistant professor, was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to develop an immunoassay, or technique for analyzing and measuring the concentration of antibodies, for the diagnosis of melioidosis, a tropical disease caused by a highly pathogenic bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Professor Ken Hunter, Ph.D., and his two University of Nevada, Reno colleagues Nelson Publicover, Ph.D., professor of electrical and biomedical engineering and Suk-Wah Tam Chang, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, have been awarded a $1.52 million grant from the U.S. Air Force's Office of Scientific Research to develop two novel biosensor systems for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.
Research into infectious diseases has been a focus of the School of Medicine's Department of Microbiology and Immunology for more than 30 years.