The Veterans Administration announced that by November 2004, veterans who served in the Gulf War between 1990 and 1991 experienced illnesses of unknown etiology which were subsequently categorized as “Gulf War Illnesses”. The Veterans Administration acknowledges a need for systematic scientific identification of the specific molecular mechanisms underlying this disease, from which development of treatments may emerge. The Veterans Administration is particularly dedicated to improving healthcare for veterans who served in the Gulf War.
Michael Mullan MD, PhD (Director of the Roskamp Institute) and Fiona Crawford PhD (Associate Director of the Roskamp Institute) received a three-year grant from this esteemed agency to fund the research on genomics and proteomics analysis of cellular responses to Gulf War agents. Drs. Michael Mullan and Fiona Crawford were previously funded through the Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC) to evaluate these advance genomics and proteomics technologies for potential use in identification of biological pathways implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases. Thus, this is a great collaborative union between US government agencies to help find treatments for illnesses that affect our beloved veterans.
This funded proposal will utilize genomics and proteomics technologies among other state-of-the-art resources available at the Roskamp Institute and its affiliated laboratories at the James A. Haley VA Hospital to characterize the cellular responses to biological warfare agents. At the Roskamp Institute, these technologies will be applied to investigate and characterize the in vitro responses to agents such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (i.e. pyridostigmine bromide, organophosphate pesticides) and anthrax vaccination. By identifying biological and cellular mechanisms modulated in response to these exposures in the simple in vitro models, the Roskamp Institute scientists will identify initial responses to these agents and then determine if they become pathological with disease progression. This research by the Roskamp Institute will increase our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these illnesses as well as present targets for potential therapeutic intervention.
The Roskamp Institute is dedicated to exposing the causes of and finding novel treatments for neuropsychiatric, neurodegenerative and addictive disorders. The Roskamp Institute was founded in 1998 by the philanthropic visions of Robert and Diane Roskamp of Sarasota, Florida. In 2003, under the directorship of Dr. Michael Mullan and through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Roskamp, the Roskamp Institute was relocated to Sarasota, Florida. The Roskamp Institute, at present, is funded by various US government agencies, such as the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), CTAC, the US Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. Currently, the Roskamp Institute occupies approximately 41,000 sq ft of facility with over 50 brilliant scientists engaged in creative research endeavors to find treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders and clinicians who are dedicated to helping patients and their family members cope with these devastating disorders.
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