Pitt Researchers Awarded $2 million Grant to Develop Drug for Tinnitus

Body of work that led to this drug development stemmed from an ATA-funded research grant to Dr. Thanos Tzounopoulos in 2008. Dr. Tzounopoulos is also current member of ATA's Scientific Advisory Committee.

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"It all started with my first grant from ATA about ten years ago - so many thanks to ATA." - Thanos Tzounopoulos, PhD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Endowed Professor of Auditory Physiology and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Otolaryngology, Pitt School of Medicine.

Tinnitus researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences were awarded a three-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Medical Research and Development Program, to continue their effort to develop a new treatment for the condition.

More than 1.2 million veterans experience tinnitus, which is the perception of a ringing in the ears, and it is the most common service-connected disability. Currently, there is no cure, said principal investigator Dr. Thanos Tzounopoulos, UPMC Endowed Professor of Auditory Physiology and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Otolaryngology, Pitt School of Medicine.

In previous DoD-supported work, he and Dr. Peter Wipf, Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at Pitt, redesigned an FDA-approved epilepsy drug called retigabine, which alters the transport of potassium ions through channels in the nerve cell membrane, to treat tinnitus, a disorder of hyper-excitation of nerve cells in auditory pathways.

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