Mark Zylka receives Transformative R01 Grant

Assistant professor Mark Zylka was awarded one of 42 NIH Roadmap Transformative R01 grants for his project Harnessing Ectonucleotidases to Treat Chronic Pain.

Mark Zylka receives Transformative R01 Grant click to enlarge Mark Zylka, PhD

September 2009 - Assistant professor Mark Zylka was awarded one of 42 NIH Roadmap Transformative R01 grants for his project Harnessing Ectonucleotidases to Treat Chronic Pain.

Project summary:

More Americans suffer from chronic pain than heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined. Unfortunately, existing analgesics are not completely effective for all pain conditions and have serious side effects. A critical challenge for modern biomedical research is the need to provide pain relief without serious side effects. This project addresses this need by harnessing enzymes, called ectonucleotidases, that are found in nociceptive (pain-sensing) circuits in nervous system dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and in the spinal cord. Ectonucleotidases degrade purine nucleotides (like ATP and ADP) that cause pain into adenosine-a compound that has analgesic properties in rodents and humans. These studies are important in developing new proteins and small molecules that target ectonucleotidases for the treatment of acute and chronic pain, and have the potential to transform how we treat pain in millions of patients with fewer side effects.

 

Press:

NIH Roadmap for Medical Research - Transformative R01 Program - 2009 Recipients

UNC news press release

EurekAlert press release

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