October 2001

From Yale University

Yale gastroenterologist and collegues receive $1 million grant to study infectious diseases in developing countries

Henry J. Binder, M.D., professor of medicine and of cellular and molecular physiology in the Yale School of Medicine, and collaborators, are recipients of a Wellcome Trust and Burroughs Wellcome Fund research award to study diarrheal diseases.

Researchers at Christian Medical College in India and at the University of Glasgow School of Medicine will share in the five-year award, which totals over $1 million. The award is part of the Wellcome Trust/Burroughs Wellcome Fund initiative in infectious diseases in developing countries and will support collaborative research by Binder and B.S. Ramakrishna of Christian Medical College, and Michael Farthing of University of Glasgow.

Clinical studies will be performed at Christian Medical College, while molecular studies of ion transporters will be performed at Yale and physiological studies performed at University of Glasgow.

Binder, who is also director of the General Clinical Research Center at Yale, will help develop an improved oral rehydration solution (ORS) for diarrheal diseases, one of the most common causes of death among the world's children. ORS has been effective for increasing fluid absorption from the intestinal tract and has significantly reduced sickness and death in children in developing countries, but it has not reduced diarrhea and is therefore not frequently used by patients.

Binder and Ramakrishna previously collaborated to develop a starch that improves the effectiveness of ORS by improving fluid absorption and reducing diarrhea. This new study will establish the treatment's efficacy and will also determine if patients will comply with the treatment.

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with my colleagues to continue improving treatments for acute diarrhea," Binder said.












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