“There are exciting new data suggesting a therapeutic use for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in reducing the toxic neuroinflammatory cascade associated with brain damage in Alzheimer’s disease, in addition to the plant’s other current medical uses that range from the treatment of neuropathic pain to glaucoma.”

- Peter J. Snyder, URI Vice President for Research and Economic Development and Professor, Biomedical Research and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Navindra Seeram Professor Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

possess, but we have tremendous talent here at URI. We get approached often to assist in this type of endeavor, and we’re open to whatever opportunities present themselves.”

Bertin, who joined the faculty two years ago, works with a number of academic and industrial partners to study the toxins and other compounds produced by blooms of marine cyanobacteria. He is seeking to isolate new molecules from those blooms and test them for potential use as therapeutics against a wide range of diseases. He has already identified more than two dozen new molecules and began testing some of them against cancer cells. Bertin is also examining the genetic architecture responsible for the production of these chemical compounds to gain a better understanding of how the cyanobacteria produce them. This approach could help move his research into the realm of genetic engineering by enabling scientists to stitch together uniquely structured genes to build entirely new therapeutic compounds. “The future is wide open,” concludes Rowley. “Being able to purify and identify molecules in nature requires special knowledge and experience that few institutions

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