KGI Professor Ian Phillips Awarded Defense Grants for Medical Combat Research

Thursday, September 18, 2008 General News
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CLAREMONT, Calif., Sept. 17 Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)today announced that Ian Phillips, PhD, KGI's Norris Professor of Applied LifeSciences, has received two grants from the US Department of Defense (DoD) insupport of his medical research to reduce battlefield fatalities amongAmerican military personnel.

"With battlefield injuries, soldiers can bleed to death before medics areable to reach them," said Phillips. "We are working to produce an automaticanti-hemorrhaging system that would allow a wounded soldier's own body toproduce a blood-clotting protein, thus giving him or her potentiallylife-saving minutes until their injuries can be treated."

The anti-hemorrhaging system, known as the Automatic Hemostat Vector,would be given as an injection to soldiers before going into battle. Phillipsresearch is focusing on a molecule that "switches on" a gene to produce ablood clotting protein, Factor VII.

When a blood vessel is broken, the bleeding reduces oxygen. Low oxygenwould activate the Hemostat causing Factor VII to be made in the injuredtissue. Factor VII seals broken blood vessels, and as oxygen levels arerestored, the Hemostat would turn off automatically in the body.

In addition to helping soldiers, the Hemostat has potential for use incivilian surgery and cases of hemophilia and hemorrhagic stroke. Phillips isalso working on ways to add a stem cell homing factor gene to the Hemostatsystem that would cause stem cells to be drawn to the injury from bone marrowand begin healing the wound even while the injured soldier is on thebattlefield.

Phillips' research is funded by a sub-grant from the DoD's Defense ThreatReduction Agency and the US Army's Telemedicine and Advanced TechnologiesResearch Center to the University of South Florida. To date, Phillips hasreceived $323,000 from the Defense Department in support of his research.

The Hemostat system will be developed at KGI and tested at the Universityof South Florida and the US Army Surgical Institute in San Antonio.

Phillips holds a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, the2002 Christopher Columbus Award for science and technology and the LucianAward for research on circulatory disease.

KGI Background

Educating the future leaders of the bioscience industry, Keck GraduateInstitute (KGI) offers an interdisciplinary graduate education through itsMaster of Bioscience (MBS) degree program and its PhD program in Applied LifeSciences. Using team-based learning and real-world projects, KGI's innovativecurriculum seamlessly combines applied life sciences, bioengineering,bioethics and business management. KGI also has a robust research programconcentrating on the translation of basic discoveries in the life sciencesinto applications that can benefit society. KGI is a member of The ClaremontColleges, located in Claremont, California.

Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences is dedicated to educationand research aimed at translating into practice, for the benefit of society,the power and potential of the life sciences.

SOURCE Keck Graduate Institute

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