Geoff Ginsburg, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (Cardiology) and pathology and director of the Center for Genomic Medicine in the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, learned that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will award a Duke research group $2.7 million to develop a non-human primate model of bacterial pneumonia and discovery of novel diagnostic biomarkers.
"The Gates Foundation is interested in early and accurate diagnosis of infection that kills millions of kids under the age of 5 each year," said Ginsburg. "Pneumonia is the third leading cause and understanding the underlying etiology of infection (viral, bacterial, etc) is a major challenge."
The group's proposal will create a model for bacterial pneumonia in non-human primates and will use the model to explore the development of a host-based genomic signature specific for pneumococcal pneumonia that is distinct from the signatures they previously developed for viral respiratory infection in humans (under a program funded by DARPA).
Co-investigators on the project are:
- Karen Welty-Wolf, MD, associate professor of medicine (Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine)
- Claude Piantadosi, MD, professor of medicine (Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine)
- Aimee Zaas, MD, MHS , associate professor of medicine (Infectious Diseases)
- Chris Woods, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine (Infectious Diseases)
- Joe Lucas, PhD, assistant research professor at IGSP
- Larry Carin, PhD, professor of engineering