CF Expert Recruited for Emory University Research Program

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Cystic fibrosis donation

A philanthropic donation to Emory University will contribute to the research of new therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) at the laboratory of Dr. Eric J. Sorscher, a scientific leader in cystic fibrosis research. Sorscher heads a research program at Emory and Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta that focuses on discovering new scientific knowledge and the development of novel drugs targeting CF.

The gift, by Eva and Charles Lipman, contributed to Emory’s recruitment of Sorscher by a joint initiative between the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), and the Georgia Research Alliance, to establish the Emory-Children’s CF Center and the newly established Atlanta CF Research and Development Program. Both are major contributors to CF research.

Sorscher, co-chair of the International CFTR Folding Consortium, an organization that studies how mutations in the CFTR gene lead to the development of CF, has plenty of experience in the development of cell lines specific for the study of disease mechanisms, and in drug discovery through the screening of large libraries of potential drugs.

Sorscher will collaborate at Emory with drug discovery expert Dr. Haian Fu.

“The emphasis of my laboratory is to advance CF science in the search for a cure for the disease,” Sorscher said in an Emory’s news release. “Enormous progress has been made through CF Foundation-funded research in the past several years toward development of new drugs called CFTR modulators, which dramatically help a subset of individuals with CF. A goal of our laboratory is to advance new treatments for patients who currently do not benefit from available drugs. These patients have CF gene mutations that are less common, such as the W1282X mutation.

“The Lipman family contribution will have a substantial impact on that effort over the next three years, and we are very grateful for their support,” Sorscher said.

The donation, besides being central to Sorscher’s recruitment, will promote CF science in the Emory campus and at Children’s Healthcare, and encourage other scientific communities to pursue novel research in the development of therapies for specific CFTR mutations.