Jun Qu co-PI on two new UB grants totaling more than $2 million

Jun Qu.

By Kara Sweet

Published January 6, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. — UB is the recipient of a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the Department of Defense to develop effective therapeutic strategies that minimize the damaging effects of infection in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


The study, titled “The Network Biology of Pathogen-Host Interactions Driving Exacerbation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” is led by Sanjay Sethi, professor of medicine and division chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Jun Qu, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is co-Principal Investigator.

COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. and is often punctuated by frequent acute exacerbations (AECOPD), mostly caused by tracheobronchial infection. The study seeks to reveal key relationships in the complex networks of microbes, immune cells and lung cells to develop illness-specific therapeutic strategies to protect against AECOPD. Qu’s lab will be developing a novel quantitative proteomics method to survey sputum and serum samples from a large clinical set, an enabling factor of this grant.

Qu is also co-PI on a four-year, $1 million U01 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to explore the pathophysiology of obesity.

“Multiplex mass spectrometric protein assays for precise monitoring of the pathophysiology of obesity” is led by Wei-Jun Qian, a scientist in the Biological Sciences Division at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically in recent decades in both children and adults, reaching an epidemic proportion. The NIDDK study will use targeted mass spectrometry to develop reliable standardized tests that precisely monitor the hormones closely associated with obesity, including glucose homeostasis and energy balance (e.g. insulin), pro-inflammatory markers and anti-inflammatory markers. Qu’s lab will develop an innovative approach for high-throughput, targeted quantification of key protein markers associated with obesity.

For over 130 years, the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has continually been a leader in the education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, renowned for innovation in clinical practice and research. The school is accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) and is the No. 1 ranked school of pharmacy in New York State and No. 22 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.