Duke University

Courtesy of Bjoertvedt, Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0

#10 - Duke University
Fiscal 2013 NIH funding:
$350.25 million
Fiscal 2012 NIH funding: $355.65 million
Change in funding: -$5.4 million
Number of awards in 2013: 753
Number of awards in 2012: 763

Last year, researchers at Duke University found a way to prevent epilepsy in mice that have already experienced a long period of seizures. They discovered that inhibiting a receptor in the nervous system called TrkB prevents the onset of epilepsy. "With respect to common disorders of the neurological system, there is no effective preventive measure for any of them," said study author Dr. James McNamara, a professor of neurobiology at Duke Medicine, in a previous interview with FierceBiotech Research. The problem is that scientists haven't been able to pinpoint a molecular target for epilepsy, so no preventive drugs currently exist. The receptor identified by the Duke team may play a central role in transforming the brain from normal to epileptic.

To aid the global fight in combating antibiotic resistance, Duke received a $2 million grant in 2013 from NIH to lead a nationwide antibiotic research program. Duke Medicine is partnering with the University of California, San Francisco, to oversee the program, and will set up a national network of researchers to study ways to combat deadly strains of bacteria resistant to current antibiotics. Duke was also one of four recipients of a $12.8 million grant from NIH to help find new approaches to implement genomic findings in clinical practice.

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CNS receptor could be key to preventing epilepsy

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