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      Department of Biology

      Department of Chemistry

      Molecular Basis of Disease              (Area Focus)





      NSF Georgia Research Alliance

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Research areas

About the Center:


The Center for Biotechnology and Drug Design promotes research in three areas that have recently experiened a surge in research and development in the natural sciences: genetic engineering and molecular modeling techniques.

Vaccines and Diagnostics: Research includes development of vaccines and diagnostic reagents of extremely high purity, specificity and sensitivity for defense against disease-producing organisms.

Protein Engineering: Research includes investigating approaches for maximizing protein yield. Protein production by genetic engineering has become an active and far-reaching aspect of biotechnology, with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies’ revenues exceeding $2 billion annually.

Drug Design and Synthesis: Research includes designing and developing new pharmaceutical agents, including work on anti-HIV compounds and on drugs to counteract the opportunistic infections and neoplasms (abnormal tissue growths) that arise in patients with compromised immune systems.

The center was established in 1994 to encourage cooperation between the biotechnology industry and Georgia State University.

The center comprises upwards of 45 faculty members, but is headed by up to 19 proinciple researchers, primarily from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Sciences. The goals of the center include: developing strong faculty research programs; training top-flight graduate students; attracting biotechnology business to Georgia; and coordinating academic and industrial cooperation."

The center’s research projects range from the detailed structural analyses of small DNA molecules to the development of genetically engineered vaccines against viral infection. Such research adds to the understanding of inherited diseases, transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and tumor formation.

Knowledge gained from research in these areas can also help biotechnology companies increase production of previously scarce compounds that have potentially high commercial importance.


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