[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 18-Apr-2013
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Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
516-944-4486
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ben-Gurion U. and Fox Chase Cancer Center awarded NIH measles grant

PHILADELPHIA April 18, 2013 American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) announces that Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) in Philadelphia have received a two-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant to observe "the role of host encoded microRNAs in the maintenance of the measles virus persistent state."

Many viruses are known to persist in their target cells and establish chronic infection, long after resolution of their acute phase. A thorough understanding of this interplay between viruses and their host may offer insight into the mechanistic basis of human infectious diseases.

This research collaboration is part of an ongoing agreement between BGU and FCCC to support and facilitate scientific and clinical exchanges, as well as to encourage collaborations and joint research between scientists and physicians. Fox Chase and Ben-Gurion formalized their relationship in 2008, but it actually began in 2003 as a partnership spearheaded by AABGU's National Vice President Alton I. Sutnick.

Sutnick, founder of the Health Sciences and Academic Affiliations Committee of AABGU's Mid-Atlantic Region, is a physician and former dean of the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now the Drexel University School of Medicine). Through this partnership, he sought to explore the genetic risks of cancer and incorporate these factors into clinical practice across cultural settings.

"Thanks to Dr. Sutnick and AABGU's Philadelphia chapter, BGU has a longstanding research partnership with Fox Chase that has greatly contributed to medical science," explains Doron Krakow, AABGU executive vice president. "It is a great accomplishment to receive this NIH grant and we look forward to their findings."

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BGU researchers participating in the study include Prof. Jacob Gopas and Prof. Ynat Shemer Avni of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics. In addition, Prof. Zvi Bentwich from the Department of Virology and Developmental Genetics will act as a consultant. Dr. Glenn Rall at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia will collaborate with the BGU researchers.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision, creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. With some 20,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel's southern desert, BGU is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev. AABGU is headquartered in Manhattan and has nine regional offices throughout the U.S., including one in Philadelphia. For more information, contact 215-884-4510 or mid-atlantic@aabgu.org, or visit http://www.aabgu.org.



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