Professor receives grant to help fight effects of some chemical warfare

389
Dr. Ajay Banga stands next to a computer in his lab; a chalkboard with writing on it is behind him.

Mercer University College of Pharmacy’s Ajay Banga, Ph.D., has received funding from the National Institutes of Health CounterAct Program to develop topical treatments to help combat suffering and death from arsenicals-based chemical warfare agents.

Dr. Banga and his research team will develop topical spray and other formulations of 4-phenylbutyric acid, a compound used for the treatment of urea cycle disorders where ammonia builds up in the blood stream, and N-acetylcysteine, used to counteract acetaminophen overdose. His laboratory will test both compounds individually and in combination on skin from human cadavers. Decontamination studies also will be done in the Mercer lab using a surrogate arsenical agent.

The College’s subgrant, from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, is $400,000 over five years.

Continue reading about the grant at news.mercer.edu.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​