February 2017 Notes from the Georgia Research Alliance
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Video showcases Georgia State’s ascent in biomed research

The newest addition to GRA’s “Breakthroughs in Georgia” video series explores the rapid rise of biomedical research at Georgia State University. In a short time, Georgia State has built an impressive scientific enterprise in the Institute of Biomedical Sciences. Three GRA Eminent Scholars and teams of other scientists are unlocking new insights and answers to an array of diseases and ailments. Tens of millions of research grants flow into the Institute each year, and the university is planning further expansion. • Watch the video (1:45) >

University of Georgia joins consortium working to reduce risk, cost of cell therapies 

Georgia’s high profile in the futuristic area of cell-based therapies — treatments involving human cells — was enriched further this month with news of a University of Georgia partnership to boost production of such therapies. GRA Eminent Scholar Steve Stice, a renowned researcher in regenerative medicine, is the university’s lead in the public-private partnership, which is working to drive down both the cost and risk of manufacturing cell and gene therapies. The partnership is called NIIMBL (National Institute for Innovation of Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals), and it’s the 11th institute under a national initiative to advance manufacturing leadership and restore jobs to the U.S. • More on the partnership >


Georgia universities team up to speed ‘translation’ of diabetes research

Discoveries about diabetes need to be put to work faster, according to the National Institutes of Health. So to help achieve that aim, Emory, Georgia Tech and Morehouse School of Medicine are teaming up in a new enterprise designed to accelerate the translation of diabetes research into new treatments and prevention strategies. Recent years have brought higher numbers of people diagnosed with diabetes than expected, and onset of the disease is happening earlier in life. A $2.5 million NIH grant to Emory created the multi-university enterprise, called the Georgia Diabetes Translation Research Center. The consortium will also bring in collaborators from Georgia State and the Atlanta Veterans Administration Hospital. • Read the news release > 

'Spider web' approach developed at Emory may open the door to new cancer drugs

Some of the genes that cause lung cancer can’t be fought with existing drugs. But Emory University scientists led by Haian Fu (above) have developed an approach that may effectively harness “tumor suppressor” genes to target mutations in the cancer-causing genes. The approach is likened to a spider web of individual interactions between proteins in lung cancer cells. By placing tumor suppressors in the context of these interactions and linking them to drugs, the researchers are developing a new cancer-fighting strategy. Cell culture experiments and high-tech analysis of genomic data led to the mapping approach. • Read about the research > 

Georgia Tech startup is featured in GA Trend

The sewing robots — or "sewbots" — of SoftWear Automation are getting some time in the spotlight, thanks to a feature story in the February issue of Georgia Trend Magazine. The article reports that the GRA Ventures company is growing fast because its machines "can be used by apparel companies for a multitude of tasks required to take a garment from concept to reality, including fabric handling and direct sewing." SoftWear Automation's technology solution to the complexity of robotic sewing, which was developed at Georgia Tech, earned the company a spot on GRA's "25 Breakthroughs in Georgia" series. • Read the Georgia Trend article >

GRA welcomes aboard Delta Air Lines

With a gift right out of the gate in 2017, Georgia-based Delta Air Lines became the latest company to join GRA’s roster of supporters. In its announcement, Delta stated it is “committed to giving back 1 percent of net income each year to the community.” The airline praised GRA’s efforts to build Georgia’s future economy: “Not only are GRA’s efforts a benefit to the economy, but its programs are inspiring the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs; building the reputation and capabilities of Georgia’s universities; and educating and training the workforce of the future.”

What will make you sick when you’re older? New study aims to predict potential threats

Finding ways to predict the diseases that will affect people later in life is a chief aim of a new study underway between Emory University and AKESOgen. In conducting the research, a multidisciplinary team of Emory scientists will team up with scientists at AKESOgen, a GRA Ventures company that specializes in genomics and biomarker profiling. The Emory Aging Study will recruit thousands of participants in the next few years, making it the largest clinical research study ever conducted in Atlanta. • More on the study >
Copyright © 2017 Georgia Research Alliance, All rights reserved.

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