The University of the South Pacific (USP) is the major educational vehicle serving 12 lower income island nations in the South Pacific region. The Center for Drug Discovery and Conservation (CDDC) at the USP was founded as part of this ICBG program and provides advanced graduate student training in diverse subjects including marine natural products chemistry, microbiology, drug discovery, and marine conservation. The CDDC is the central resource through which all ICBG activities will occur. The CDDC will continue to facilitate interactions with local and government officials and subsequent collection activities. CDDC personnel will continue to provide local field expertise and preliminary taxonomic analyses of algal and invertebrate samples. Major research activities will include the participation in ecology-guided natural product discovery in collaboration with other associate programs. Our researchers will perform bioassay-guided fractionation of prioritized algal and invertebrate extracts and assist with the structure elucidate of active compounds. The CDDC will take an increased role in the marine microbiology program, leveraging valuable experience gained from prior ICBG funding to assemble a diverse and chemically rich collection of cultured marine bacteria. Extracts generated from these bacteria will serve as the source material for the microbial drug discovery efforts. Technology transfer and training are important components of this program and include personnel visiting Scripps and Georgia Institute of Technology for advanced training in natural products chemistry and marine microbiology, respectively. Training and scientific exchange will also occur during regular visits by associate program participants to the USP and during taxonomy and benefit sharing workshops organized by the CDDC. The CDDC will work with marine ecologists to develop more effective strategies for reef conservation and to expand the Locally-Managed Marine Area (LMMA) program, which has proven to be a highly effective method to bring village-level awareness to the importance of conservation and the maintenance of healthy coral reefs. A long-term goal of this program is to further enhance the capabilities of the CDDC as vibrant center for conservation and drug discovery and to ensure that it will continue to provide these important functions long after ICBG funding has ended.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-H (50))
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Georgia Institute of Technology
United States
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