Weill Cornell Medical College

Start : May 2013 | Status : Complete

The scientists: Dr. Saki Raheem, a postdoctoral researcher working in a team led by Prof Kyu Y Rhee. Prof Rhee is an infectious disease expert who is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Raheem will be responsible for conducting this research at Tres Cantos.

The sponsor: Located in New York City, Weill Cornell Medical College is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease, and most recently, the world’s first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston.

Foundation funding: The Foundation is providing £113,750 in support of this research.

GSK’s contribution: GSK is providing in-kind contributions (including facilities and expertise from supporting scientists for HTS and access to the compounds library).

Project Description: Despite major advances in high-throughput screening and genomic technologies, TB drug development remains hindered by a general inability to measure the penetration of a given compound into Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb).  Over the past years researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed a set of analytical methods and tools capable of capturing and enumerating the intracellular small molecule inventory of Mtb (metabolome). Utilization of this platform to monitor intracellular accumulation of current drugs has revealed an unexpected dissociation between cell permeability and anti-mycobacterial activity.

Access to GSK’s chemical library will allow us to screen different classes of compounds against TB, using metabolomics technology developed by Weill Cornell Medical College. As a result, we will create a centralized data repository of mycobacterial permeability data that will contribute to development of next generation of anti-TB drugs and fundamental knowledge of Mtb metabolomics. (Dr. Saki Raheem, Open Lab Scientist)