Notre Dame Chemists Receive $5.5 Million NIH Grant

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Mayland Chang and Shahriar Mobashery of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have received a five-year, $5.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to conduct translational research aimed at the discovery and development of drugs to fight serious gram-positive bacterial infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The award, significantly greater than typical grants at the research level, required a product development plan for moving a compound towards commercialization in addition to the usual scientific plan.

With the grant, Chang’s multidisciplinary research team will design and synthesize variations of the compound, impart drug-like properties, and test them for antibacterial activity in animal models of infection, continuing work they have already started. The team includes Chang, Shahriar Mobashery, Sergei Vakulenko, Mark Suckow, all of Notre Dame, and Juan Hermoso of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.