University Partners With Department of Defense To Develop Radiation Treatments

January 14, 2019 - 1:08pm

The University of Nebraska has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop drug therapies to treat radiation exposure for military service members.

The project, a collaboration between UNL, UNMC, the National Strategic Research Institute and private pharmaceutical consultants, could potentially award the university $11 million over the next five years for the research and development of therapeutic drugs for radiation exposure. 

David Berkowitz, professor of chemistry and director of interdisciplinary therapeutics research at UNL, is one of the primary investigators for the project. He says both a willingness for UNL and UNMC to partner on projects and the unique position of the university with STRATCOM enabled this partnership.

“We’re a university-affiliated research center, one of 14 in the United States. That’s a relatively new development; it’s been about a half-dozen years that we’ve had that status. That’s through STRATCOM, Strategic Command. It aligns us with the Department of Defense as a contractor, and our mission is related to biomedical science,” Berkowitz said.

Berkowitz says he hopes for future collaborations between UNL and UNMC on similar projects through the emerging Nebraska Drug Development Pipeline.



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