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November 2010                                                                


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12 Cancer Research Awardees Named       Twelve cancer researchers have been selected by the Georgia Cancer Coalition (GCC) as recipients of the 2011 Cancer Research Awards, made possible through voluntary donations to the Georgia Cancer Research Fund on State Income Tax forms over a two-year period. Each awardee will receive $50,000, for a total of $600,000 in funding.

      More than 70 proposals were received from researchers across the state; each award is matched by the awardee's organizations. Cancer Research Awards often provide seed money for pilot studies which have the potential of attracting larger, more prestigious national grant awards.

      Recipients include:

  •  Clark Atlanta University: Shafiq A. Khan, Ph.D., Professor, Biological Sciences
  •  Emory University: Christopher R. Flowers, M.D., Asst Professor, Hematology/Medical Oncology & Adjunct Asst Professor, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech; Tongzhong Ju, M.D., Ph.D., Asst Professor, Biochemistry; Sumin Kang, Ph.D., Asst Professor, Hematology/Medical Oncology; Erwin G. Van Meir, Professor, Neurosurgery and Hematology/Medical Oncology; and Winifred W. Thompson, Ph.D., Asst Research Professor, Behavioral Sciences &  Health Education, Woodruff Health Sciences Center;
  •   Georgia Tech: Ali Adibi, Ph.D., Professor, Optics & Photonics; & Elizabeth Mynatt, Ph.D., Professor & Associate Dean, Computing.
  •  Medical College of Georgia: Darren D. Browning, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biochemistry
  •  Mercer University:  Hailing Zhang, Ph.D.& Chalet Tan, Ph.D., Asst Professors, Pharmaceutical Sciences;
  • University of Georgia: Rabindranath De La Fuente, D.V.M, MSc., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine 
                                                                          Details here
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar Named to Rollins Chair in Oncology at Emory University


    H. Jean Khoury  H. Jean Khoury, MD, professor of hematology and medical oncology, and director of the Division of Hematology in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has been chosen as the first holder of the Rollins Chair, in partnership with the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

        "I am honored by this award and very grateful for the GCC support I received. It was a major jump start for successful launch of the hematological malignancies program at Emory five years ago, paving the way for this endowment. I am very proud to be a GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar," Khourys says.  For details, click here.  


Georgia State University Distinguished Scholar Awarded $1.2 million NIH Prostate Cancer grant


     Yuhun George Zheng Yujun Zheng, assistant professor of chemistry and one of Georgia State University's Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholars, received a five-year, $1.2 million grant to further his work in prostate cancer research.  Zheng's NIH grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences will help develop and apply novel chemical strategies to elucidate mechanistic roles of PRTMs in prostate cancer and develop PRMT inhibitors as therapeutic agents for disease intervention Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) are a type of chromatin-modifying proteins discovered in recent years and are found to be intimately associated with the pathogenesis of many human diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disorders.  For details, click here.

Emory- Georgia Tech Partnership In Nanotechnology Yields Two NCI Grants


   Researchers at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology will join forces against head and neck and pancreatic cancers using two grants from NCI's Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships (CNPP) program. The cooperative five-year grants, totalling $4.7 million, will be used to develop nanoparticles as diagnostic and therapeutic tools against cancer.

     The first grant, for more than $2.3 million, was awarded to Mostafa El-Sayed, PhD, Regents professor of chemistry and biochemistry and director of the Laser Dynamics Laboratory at Georgia Tech,  and Dong Moon Shin, MD,  a GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar; professor of Dong Moon Shinhematology, medical oncology and otolaryngology; and director of the Winship Cancer Chemoprevention program. Their project is titled "Toxicity and efficacy of gold nanoparticle photothermal therapy in cancer" and is aimed at head and neck cancer.

     The second NCI grant for nearly $2.4 million will be used to develop magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles as tools against pancreatic cancer. Principal investigators from Emory University's School of Medicine are Lily Yang, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery and Hu Mao, PhD, associate professor of radiology and Center for Systems Imaging.  

         For details, click here.

GCC Scholar earns NIH New Innovator Award                      
 Manu Platt     Manu Platt, an assistant professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, has received a $1.5 million NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support a project aimed at reducing the incidence of stroke in children with sickle cell disease.
    "The assays and mathematical models of cathepsin protease activity that we have been developing as a part of our GCC projects are also applicable to other types of pathological tissue remodeling including that of the artery walls in sickle cell disease. We were able to establish some nice preliminary data and generate hypotheses that we were able to extrapolate to other disease systems to promote innovative new directions," Platt says.               For details, click here.
"SpectroPen" Could Detect Tumors' Edges 
        Biomedical engineers are developing a hand-held "SpectroPen" device that could help surgeons see the edges of tumors in patients in real time during surgery. Statistics indicate that complete removal, or resection, is the single most important predictor of patient survival for most solid tumors.
       Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania describe this device in an article in The Journal of Analytical Chemistry.
       "This technology could aid surgeons in meeting the major challenge of completely removing the tumor as well as iShuming Niedentifying lymph nodes that may be involved," says Shuming Nie, PhD, a GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar and professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.
      The research was carried out by an interdisciplinary team of senior investigators, May Wangincluding Sunil Singhal, MD/UPenn; May Wang, PhD/Georgia Tech and a GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar; and James Provenzale, MD, and Bryan Leyland-Jones, MD/Emory University.
           For details, click here.                   
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