$11.5M Grant Supports Arkansas Children's Research Institute's Quest for New Therapies

$11.5M Grant Supports Arkansas Children's Research Institute's Quest for New Therapies
Dr. Alan Tackett, director of the Arkansas Children's Research Institute's Center for Translational Pediatric Research (Arkansas Children's Research Institute)

The Arkansas Children's Research Institute has received an $11.5 million federal grant to continue its data-driven quest for new therapies at the Center for Translational Pediatric Research.

The center, launched five years ago with a federal grant of the same amount, works to understand how diseases like cancer form in children by looking at the larger biomedical picture. That approach, known as systems biology, combines biology, computer science and other disciplines to determine how systems change over time and under varying conditions. 

The center plans to use the latest grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop new resources for the study of protogenomics. According to the National Cancer Institute, protogenomics may help scientists learn more about which proteins are involved in certain diseases, including cancer. It may also be used to help develop new drugs that block these proteins.

"Our successes in Phase I have set the stage for substantial growth to create a self-sustaining research center focusing on developing the next generation of therapies to treat diseases impacting children," Dr. Alan Tackett, the center's director, said in a news release. 

The center already offers resources including analysis and integration of big data-generating approaches, such as genomic sequencing.

The center's partners include the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, UAMS, and the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

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