Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gates cash comes to Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh is getting the bulk of an $11.4 million dollar grant from the Gates Foundation to do two years worth of research into tuberculosis. While the research will be conducted at several research institutes most of the money will be used to purchase new nuclear medicine scanning equipment that will be installed in a bio safety level 3 facility in Oakland. The equipment will be used to look at how TB attacks the lungs of animals. Researcher Joanne Flynn says she thinks this is the first time this type of equipment will be used in such a facility. While TB is rare in the US it still kills 2 million people each year. Most of the cases are in developing countries where it is hard to get the patients to follow the 6-month course of medication. Flynn says the drugs that are in use today are the same drugs that were used 50-years ago yet researchers do not completely know how they work. She says this will help researchers create and test new medicines.

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