MELBOURNE, FLA.—Joshua Rokach, Florida Tech chemistry professor and director of the university’s Claude Pepper Institute, has been awarded a two-year research grant of $850,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, from the National Heart Lung Blood Institute, will allow Rokach to continue his studies on chronic inflammatory diseases and, especially on the design and synthesis of antagonists to the 5-oxo-ETE receptor. Such antagonists may find a use as anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic drugs.
Rokach has received worldwide recognition for the first syntheses of major inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes and lipoxins, which are responsible for allergies of the lung and nose. The availability of these synthetic mediators has opened the field to medical research in the areas of allergy and inflammation.
Among his accomplishments, Rokach was responsible for the development of the drug “Singulair,”a leukotriene-D4 antagonist, used by millions of allergy sufferers for the relief of asthma and rhinitis symptoms.