Pharmacy Faculty Member Earns $40,000 Grant for Research

Sigrid Roberts, assistant professor in Pacific University's School of Pharmacy, has received a Medical Research Foundation grant supporting new investigators.

The $40,000 grant will support Roberts' research, titled Targeting Arginine Metabolism in Leishmania Infections. Her research centers on characterizing and therapeutically validating the polyamine pathway of the protozoan parasite Leishmania, which causes devastating and often fatal diseases in humans worldwide.

Polyamines are essential cations that are especially important for rapidly proliferating cells such as parasites. The polyamine biosynthetic pathway in Leishmania is essential for parasite survival and significantly disparate from the host’s mechanism of polyamine production. A variety of genetic, cell and molecular biology, as well as biochemical techniques are being used to dissect the pathway. In addition, in vitro macrophage infectivity studies and in vivo murine infectivity models are being utilized to assess the importance of the polyamine pathway for host-parasite interactions and infectivity.

The Medical Research Foundation supports promising biomedical exploration and the development of research careers in clinical investigation in Oregon through a program of competitively awarded research grants. The New Investigator Grants support promising new investigators in biomedical research. Principal investigators must be at the beginning of an independent career with a faculty position at one of Oregon's colleges or universities.

Oct. 18, 2012