Congratulations to Jeffrey Miner, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, and Jonathan Barnes, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Danforth Campus, co-recipients of a Children’s Discovery Institute (CDI) Interdisciplinary Research Initiative grant for their proposal to develop new approaches for the treatment of pediatric kidney disease.
The Interdisciplinary Research Initiative grants provide funds for innovative and novel projects in need of initial start-up funding that will enable the procurement of future independent support. Projects bring together investigators from multiple disciplines to identify targets for “improved diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of a pediatric health problem relevant to the goals of the CDI.”
Drs. Miner and Barnes, who co-wrote the proposal, will work together to improve existing nanomaterial drug delivery systems to direct therapeutic drugs to targeted sites of diseased tissue, in particular, the kidney.
“We propose to develop novel matrix protein-drug conjugates bearing new biocompatible polymers that will simultaneously target kidney glomeruli, function as imaging agents, and locally deliver combinations of therapeutics,” says Miner. “This research could lead to new approaches to treating pediatric kidney disease.”
The Miner-Barnes project was, in fact, facilitated by another researcher in the Division of Nephrology, Assistant Professor of Medicine Dr. Moe Mahjoub. “Moe actually got us together because he knew about both of our areas of research expertise and thought we could come up with a way to collaborate,” says Miner. “And we did!”
The innovative approach of this research will result in a promising new platform for personalized treatment of acute and chronic pediatric kidney diseases. The funding is for three years, with $62,500 direct costs for each collaborator per year.