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NC State Toxicologist Awarded $1.8M to Study Contributors to Inflammatory Disease

Jun Ninomiya-Tsuji

Jun Ninomiya-Tsuji, a toxicologist in NC State’s Department of Biological Sciences, has received a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate how certain signaling pathways contribute to inflammatory diseases.

The grant was made as part of the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award program of the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The program aims to provide researchers with greater stability and flexibility in an effort to enhance scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs.

Ninomiya-Tsuji’s project will study how abnormal inflammation occurs and causes diseases at a molecular level. To do so, her team will investigate one of the central molecules of inflammatory pathways, a protein kinase called TAK1. The group will define the TAK1 signaling pathways to determine new approaches to prevent aberrant activation of inflammation that leads to inflammatory diseases.

Ninomiya-Tsuji joined the NC State faculty in 2002 and is a professor of biological sciences and a member of the university’s Comparative Medicine Institute. She holds a Ph.D. from Hiroshima University in Japan.

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