UTEP Awarded NIH Grant to Study Subcellular Drug Distribution
Last Updated on December 22, 2021 at 9:30 AM
Originally published December 22, 2021
By Laura L. Acosta
UTEP Marketing and Communications
Suman Sirimulla, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso, has been awarded $304,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund to investigate how drugs are distributed at a subcellular level.
Sirimulla will use computational tools to develop a novel open-source platform that will predict the location of drugs within a cell.
“Subcellular localization such as the nucleus, lysosomes, and mitochondria has tremendous potential to enhance the effectiveness of the therapeutic molecules rather than random distribution throughout the cell,” said Sirimulla, who is collaborating on the project with co-investigator Md Nurunnabi, Ph.D., UTEP assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences. Tudor I. Oprea, professor of medicine and chief, Translational Informatics Division, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico, will serve as a consultant.
By accurately predicting drug location within the cells, Sirimulla said therapeutic molecules could be intelligently designed to be more effective and less toxic by targeting specific intracellular proteins that cause disease.
Sirimulla expects his research to result in tools for specific drug targeting, lower drug dosages, reduced drug side effects, and improved drug development and clinical outcomes.
The main goals of the NIH Common Fund Data Ecosystem, or CFDE, are to help the broad research community access and work across multiple Common Fund program data sets to sustain Common Fund data and tools beyond the life of the programs that generated them and to train users to work with Common Fund data in cloud computing platforms.
CFDE was established to make these data sets easily accessible and usable, which could help researchers discover new insights about a variety of diseases and health conditions and further advance biomedical discoveries.