NIH awards $4 million to Iowa State veterinary researchers for Parkinson's disease research

Mar 05, 2009
By staff
Ames, Iowa- An NIH-affiliated organization recently doled out more than $4 million in grants to two veterinary researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) to further study Parkinson's disease.

The researchers at the Iowa Center for Advanced Neurotoxicology (ICAN) at ISU received the financial support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The awards represent innovative approaches to funding biomedical research in Parkinson's disease by NINDS, the university reports in a prepared statement.

Dr. Anumantha Kanthasamy, a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at ISU's College of Veterinary Medicine and director of ICAN, secured the funding for a new NIH Multi-Principal Investigators Award program. This award is intended to foster interdisciplinary biomedical research among multiple institutions, the university explains.

Kanthasamy will collaborate with Dr. Balaraman Kalayanaraman, chair and professor of the Department of Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in developing a novel class of antioxidant-based therapeutic agents for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. A total of $2.77 million in NIH funding will be provided to their project. ISU will receive about $1.4 million from the award over the next five years.

Dr. Arthi Kanthasamy, another ICAN researcher in neurotoxicology and a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at ISU, received an award from the NINDS' New Investigator Award program. She will receive a total of $1.28 million for her work in studying the brain inflammatory mechanisms in Parkinson's Disease models. Arthi Kanthasamy currently researches degenerative processes in stroke models and also teaches pharmacology and histology courses to graduate and veterinary students.

"To receive, not only one, but two awards for work in Parkinson's disease reflects positively on the quality of research being conducted at ISU," says Dr. John Thomson, dean of ISU's College of Veterinary Medicine.

ICAN was created to promote interdisciplinary research related to neurotoxicological problems in both animals and humans. Neurotoxicology bridges the scientific fields of toxicology and neuroscience and plays a key role in the health of humans and animals, the veterinary college reports.