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   from the issue of September 6, 2007

Redox biology center receives $10.8M from NIH


The university received a $10.8 million competitive renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the Redox Biology Center through 2012. The grant was announced Aug. 28.

An interdisciplinary partnership between UNL and University of Nebraska Medical Center scientists, the center was the first of its kind in the nation to focus on redox biology. Redox biology involves the study of reduction-oxidation reactions that are essential to life processes important in human health. Understanding redox processes and problems has implications for treating a wide range of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cardiovascular disease, as well as advancing knowledge of aging.

Since its establishment in 2002 with a $10 million Center for Biomedical Research Excellence grant from NIH, the Redox Biology Center has helped Nebraska build a national reputation of excellence in redox biology research.

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said the center has enhanced Nebraska's biomedical research capacity by linking faculty research efforts at UNL and UNMC.

"In the five years since its inception, the center has developed a nationally recognized program in redox biology," Perlman said. "It has positively changed the biomedical research landscape in Nebraska by energizing a shift in the research culture toward interdisciplinary, thematic, collaborative research, particularly with colleagues at UNMC. The importance of that shift cannot be overstated."

In the past year, center faculty at UNL and UNMC garnered $7.4 million in grants. Since 2002, the nine original faculty members and five new faculty recruits funded by the original grant generated nearly $27 million in grants. The number of faculty affiliates has grown from nine in 2002 to 16 in 2007, with five more planned hires funded by the grant renewal.

Vadim Gladyshev, Charles Bessey professor and professor of biochemistry who is one of the center's founding faculty, became the center's director this summer, succeeding founding director Ruma Banerjee.

"We have great opportunities in front of us as we continue to build our research capabilities," Gladyshev said. "In the long run, the redox-related questions we're all exploring have the potential of improving human health."



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