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BSC Faculty Member Receives a Grant from WV-INBRE for Research in the Application of Natural Products for Immunotherapy

  • Created
    Monday, October 22 2012
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

tesfaye belay(Bluefield)—Dr. Tesfaye Belay, a faculty member at Bluefield State College, has been selected to receive a $25,000 grant award from the Center for Natural Product Research, a research program supported by the West Virginia–Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE). The grant proposes to conduct research related to the discovery and/or application of natural products to chemotherapy or immunotherapy applications.

"The research involved in this grant will focus upon testing whether the feeding of stressed mice with active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) of Mushroom extract can restore the immune functions in the stress mouse infected with Chlamydia trachomatis,"

Dr. Belay commented. The new immunotherapeutics studies stem from his ongoing work on the "Effect of stress on pathogenesis of Chlamydia trachomatis and immune responses in a mouse model." AHCC is commercially available most commonly in Japan and is used as a nutritional supplement taken orally, the BSC faculty researcher added. The AHCC supply for the BSC research project's experimental purposes will be provided by the Amino Up Chemical Company of Japan.

Dr. Belay noted that the study of immunogenic and immunostimulator compounds as potential countermeasures to infectious diseases is particularly relevant in the current biomedical research realm. "Our research group is interested in studying the usage of AHCC because it has become increasingly attractive, given the limitations of chlamydia vaccine development," he concluded.