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News Briefs

For immediate use

June 16, 2006 -- No. 318

Briefs

More of Raleigh Street
to close Monday (June 19)

Raleigh Street will be closed north of the intersection with Cameron Avenue, where Cameron becomes Country Club Road, beginning Monday (June 19).

Traffic still will be able to travel east and west on Cameron and Country Club, straight through the intersection. However, turns north onto Raleigh Street will not be possible.

Raleigh Street will not be accessible from the north (at Franklin Street). Motorists on Franklin may access campus from South Columbia Street instead.

Raleigh Street to the south of the Cameron Avenue intersection had closed to through traffic on May 15, allowing access only as far south as the ATMs and Lenoir Drive. Motorists still will be able to drive that far south on Raleigh after the additional closing on Monday.

The new closing is for work to reinforce stone walls along Raleigh Street.

All Raleigh Street projects are expected to be completed and the road reopened before fall semester begins in August.

Sidewalks along the street may be closed for short periods during the first phase of the project that begins Monday, but it is anticipated that the sidewalks will remain open for most of the construction period.

Chapel Hill Transit buses normally servicing stops along Raleigh Street will be rerouted. For details on changes to Chapel Hill Transit routes, go to www.chtransit.org.

For more information, call the UNC Department of Public Safety at (919) 962-3951 or visit the "Breaking News" link at www.dps.unc.edu.

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Kohn awarded $1.3 million for research
on treatment of neurological disorders

Dr. Harold Kohn, a Kenan professor in the UNC School of Pharmacy's Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products, has been awarded a $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The NIH-funded study is a joint project between the Kohn and Rihe Liu laboratories. Liu is an assistant professor at the school.

According to Kohn's proposal, epilepsy and neuropathic pain are major neurological disorders that can be treated with a number of different seizure medications.

"Even with the use of these medications, many patients continue to have seizures and experience pain, while others experience disturbing side effects," Kohn said. "There is a need, therefore, for new, effective agents that target novel neurological pathways for these disorders."

Neurological agent (R)-Lacosamide, or (R)-2, is an agent the Kohn Lab discovered that has entered Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of partial seizures and diabetic neuropathy in the United States and Europe. Preliminary studies indicate that (R)-2 exerts its activity by multiple pathways, but efforts to identify the sites of (R)-2 function have been unsuccessful.

This project focuses on discovering the (R)-2 binding sites in the brain, which Kohn said may provide information leading to new therapies for the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain.

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UNC's Roth receives national award
for medication management research

Dr. Mary Roth, assistant professor in the UNC School of Pharmacy's Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, was awarded a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging.

Roth will receive $699,170 over five years to support her project to design, implement and evaluate a medication management program to improve the quality of medication use for older adults.

The award supports the career development of investigators who have made a commitment to focus their research on patients. These awards are based on the candidate's academic and research record, the potential for meaningful independent research and the strength of the mentoring team.

Roth's mentoring team is led by Dr. Morris Weinberger, Vergil N. Slee Distinguished Professor of health care quality management in the UNC School of Public Health; Dr. Mick Murray, Mescal S. Ferguson Distinguished Professor in the pharmacy school, who directs the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy; and Dr. William Campbell, dean emeritus of the pharmacy school.

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Philips Medical Systems' donation
to enhance teaching at medical school

Philips Medical Systems has donated its iSite Picture Archiving and Communications System to the radiologic science division in the UNC School of Medicine's allied health sciences department.

The image and information management system delivers on-demand diagnostic-quality images over existing networks, advanced radiology reading stations for radiologists and long-term storage.

The system has been installed in a teaching laboratory in the newly renovated Burnett-Womack Building and will allow instructors to teach students the importance of patient diagnosis. The technology increases image availability and overall reading efficiency.

"The Philips iSite PACS suite is cutting-edge technology that will dramatically improve the quality of instruction for students at the start of the 2006-2007 academic year," said Joy Renner, who directs the radiologic science division. "The long-term benefit of this important contribution to our division will be improved patient care throughout North Carolina when our students start their careers as radiologist assistants and radiologic technologists in medical centers and community hospitals."

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Public Safety contact: Randy Young, (919) 962-1502
School of Pharmacy contact: Kara Brewer, (919) 843-9248 or kara_brewer@unc.edu
News Services contact: L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589