Investigators from the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville have been awarded four research grants totaling $4.7 million. Two of the grants come from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and two from Bayer HealthCare. Roland Herzog, PhD, an associate professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pediatrics, is the principal investigator on both NIH grants and co-investigator on both Bayer grants.
The largest award, a four-year, $2.6 million grant from NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), will support UF researchers in their work developing enhanced gene therapy techniques for patients with hemophilia B. A second NHLBI grant, a five-year, $1.7 million award, will help UF investigators develop ways to prevent inhibitors in bleeding disorder patients receiving gene or protein therapies. The research will be conducted in collaboration with the Wistar Institute, an independent biomedical research institute in Philadelphia; the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Harvard Medical School.
The first Bayer Hemophilia Award, a two-year, $200,000 grant, will fund UF researcher Arun Srivastava, PhD, George H. Kitzman professor of genetics and a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology. Srivastava will be developing improved gene therapy delivery vehicles for patients with hemophilia A. A second two-year $200,000 Bayer grant will support Herzog and co-investigator Henry Daniell, PhD, professor from the University of Central Florida, in their work on inducing immune tolerance to protein therapy for people with hemophilia A by introducing the protein orally before therapy is needed.
“The portfolio of grants allows UF to build and sustain a robust hemophilia research program covering both forms of the disease, hemophilia A and B, and fulfill an unmet need in Florida and the region,” said Herzog.
Herzog received the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Career Development Award in 2000. He is featured in a researcher profile on hemaware.org
Source: University of Florida news release dated January 12, 2011