Scott Pegan Receives $1.7M NIH Grant

Dr. Scott Pegan, Interim Associate Head for PBS and Director of UGA’s Center for Drug Discovery, has received an National Institute of Health R01 five-year grant of $1,717,015 to continue his research on nairoviruses. Awarded by the Allergy and Infectious Diseases section of NIH, his application was titled “Origin of Innate Immunity Suppression Caused by Nairovirus’ Protease Activity.”

According to Dr. Pegan, “Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Thunderclap headaches, and Nairobi sheep disease, are dangerous emerging human and animal diseases caused by nairoviruses. Beyond some of these viruses causing widespread economic devastation, the often-fatal CCHF recently was included by the World Health Organization on its priority list for diseases in need of vaccine and other therapeutics. Our research, in collaboration with Dr. Eric Bergeron at the CDC and Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator Dr. Lance Wells of the CCRC, will center around a conserved evasion mechanism these viruses share to hinder the human innate immune response. We will investigate and leverage that mechanism through synergetic molecular, cell-based, and in vivo means in order to provide information for the development of selective and broad-based anti-viral treatments.”

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