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$1.7 million for Rutgers anti-HIV drug research

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. Monday, June 5, marked the 25-year anniversary of the discovery of AIDS, and Rutgers researchers have just received new funds to support their pursuit of new ways to combat the virus. Patrick J. Sinko, Parke-Davis Professor of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery at Rutgers' Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, has received a highly selective National Institutes of Health (NIH) MERIT award for more than $1.7 million.

The funding will support up to a 10-year extension of Sinko's continuing research into nanotechnology-based, targeted drug delivery for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Sinko, chair of the department of pharmaceutics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and his team are working to develop drug delivery systems to treat HIV-infected cells, and to assist the delivery of potent anti-HIV drugs to areas of the body that are typically difficult to access, such as the brain.

A limited number of the NIH MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) awards are made to investigators who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity in their research and are likely to do so in the future. Fewer than 5 percent of NIH grantees receive these awards.

Sinko has just completed four years of research supported by a $1.1 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease of the NIH. The $1.7 million MERIT award will now extend support of his research for five years. The grant is also potentially renewable for another five years with additional funding.

"Receiving a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health represents an extraordinary level of scientific recognition and a confirmation of the importance of this innovative research," said John Colaizzi, dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.

Sinko's delivery systems use nanocarriers miniscule biological "capsules" whose size is measured in billiont
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Contact: Joseph Blumberg
blumberg@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
6-Jun-2006


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