New $3.1M Donation to the Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology at Carnegie Mellon University Supports GammaPNA

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Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology (CNAST) received a $3.1 million gift from the DSF Charitable Foundation.

PNA Innovations Co-Founders Bruce A. Armitage and Danith H. Ly are members of CNAST.

The donation will fund research focusing on how to apply synthetic chemistry to the diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease, neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. The funding will support ongoing development of gammaPNA as a tool for monitoring and manipulating gene expression as well as propelling Ly’s efforts to create the next generation of synthetic nucleic acids for targeting DNA and RNA.

This is the second DSF Charitable Foundation multi-million dollar donation received by CNAST in four years.  A $3.9 million donation in 2010 bolstered the early development of gammaPNA, the technology upon which PNA Innovations is founded.

“We are extremely thankful to the DSF Charitable Foundation,” Armitage said in a Carnegie Mellon University press release following the donation’s announcement. “Their generosity has given, and will continue to give, many researchers and students here at Carnegie Mellon and at the University of Pittsburgh the opportunity to explore untested ideas that have the potential to have wide-reaching impact.”

The center has published more than 100 scientific papers on its extensive research on peptide nucleic acids (PNA), an analog of DNA and RNA, and raised millions in additional funding.

The full Carnegie Mellon University press release can be found here.

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