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Dr Adam Heikal awarded Agribusiness Innovation Grant to develop mastitis treatment

Posted by on 22 January 2016 | Comments

Dr Adam Heikal, Research Fellow in the Cook Lab, will be bringing metabiotic development to the dairy sector with a $126,988 funding grant to develop a new treatment for mastitis.

The project entitled Mastitis metabiotics has been awarded an Agribusiness Innovation Grant, provided jointly by AGMARDT (The Agricultural and Marketing Development Trust) and Deosan, an innovative New Zealand-owned agribusiness.

The goal of the project is to use recent landmark, advances in human biomedical drug discovery to develop the next generation of antimicrobial compounds for controlling mastitis in the New Zealand and global dairy sectors. Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the udder which costs the New Zealand dairy industry over $280 million each year in treatment and discarded milk. The project team intends to discover new “metabiotic” (metabolism‐centred antibiotics) antimicrobials for animal health that specifically inhibit the growth and metabolism of mastitis‐causing microorganisms, using high throughput cell‐based screening of natural products and isolated antimicrobial milk fractions. 

The Agribusiness Innovation Grant encourages and supports industry sectors and businesses to develop and implement innovative solutions to assist with transformational change within agribusiness value chains. 

Adam Heikal

Watch the news story on Dunedin Television: