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Researchers Receive NIH Grant

Posted Aug. 22, 2011

Professor Soumitra Basu (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Professor Hamza Balci (Department of Physics) have recently received a $284,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support their project, "A Conserved G-Rich Region Within Human TH Promoter Regulates Its Activity."  Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is a key enzyme in the synthesis of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is important in controlling mood, learning, attention, sleep, motivation, and voluntary movement.  The goal of the proposal is to correlate a particular DNA secondary structure known as G-quadruplex located within the promoter region of tyrosine hydroxylase gene to the regulation of the gene at the transcription level.  Given the importance of dopamine in various neurological disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Parkinson's disease, and bipolar disorder, the results from these studies may potentially lead to the development of novel therapeutic intervention against these diseases.

 Dr. Soumitra Basu
Dr. Soumitra Basu