UGA receives $10.4 million grant


UGA researchers have received a five-year, $10.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the National Center for Biomedical Glycomics (NCMB), a consortium of faculty and staff working to develop new technologies for the analysis of glycans. From seasonal flu to cancer, glycans—sugar molecules that coat the surface of every living cell—are involved in the development of many diseases.

NCBG creates specialized tools, custom-made technologies and advanced testing equipment used by scientists in universities, pharmaceutical companies and biomedical industries throughout the world. NCBG researchers also conduct training workshops for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and seasoned researchers who are new to the world of glycans.

Researchers at NCBG have discovered that certain types of stem cells, which hold great promise as a treatment for numerous diseases and injuries, must activate a particular glycan in order to change from a stem cell into other cell types. Michael Pierce, NCBG principal investigator, is optimistic about the future. “We’ve got a pretty good picture of the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “But there are many, many therapies that will result from glycomics research, and we will be on the forefront of those discoveries.” For more information, visit