Pharmacy Website

CounterACT

Introduction to Our Center:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently awarded a five-year, $19.2 million grant to UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University to support the creation of a Center of Excellence focused on the development of new and improved medical countermeasures against high priority chemical threats.  This Center will focus on developing drugs to treat sulfur mustard poisoning, a potent chemical warfare vesicant.  Although it has been studied for more than 80 years, the mechanisms mediating its actions as a vesicant remain unknown; moreover, to date, there are no effective medical countermeasures for exposure to warfare vesicants.

In collaborative studies with Battelle Memorial Institute, members of the Center are optimizing lead compounds to determine pharmacophores active against sulfur mustard.  Studies are being initiated to evaluate the efficacy of these potential countermeasures in model systems of sulfur mustard toxicity.  In addition, Research and Development Projects are underway to identify specific mechanisms of action of sulfur mustard and potential new targets for therapeutic intervention in three major vesicant targets: the eye, the skin and the lung. Investigators on these projects work closely with a Pharmacology and Drug Development Core and a Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Core with considerable expertise in drug development, providing insights to facilitate the development of sulfur mustard countermeasures.

The research laboratories of each Core group are members of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), a facility jointly sponsored by UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University.  A Training and Education Program directed at health care providers at Rutgers University, UMDNJ-School of Public Health, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Health Sciences Program at Lehigh University has been established.