BUFFALO, NY — Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is proud to announce that several faculty members have received grant funding totaling more than $3.3 million from federal agencies and other sources. These monies will fund important research that helps to further our understanding of cancer, develop new ways to treat it and improve patients’ quality of life. These recent grant recipients are:
Yuesheng Zhang, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncology in the Department of Chemoprevention, received a five-year, $1.7 million grant award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the molecular basis for why men have a risk for bladder cancer that’s four times higher than women’s risk. The research will also assess intervention strategies.
John Blessing, MD, PhD, Executive Director of the Gynecology Oncology Group (GOG) Statistical and Data Center, received a one-year subcontract award of $300,552 from the GOG and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for a long-term follow-up study of patients at high genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Kenneth Gross, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Dominic Smiraglia, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Genetics, and Norma Nowak, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Genetics, received a two-year, $290,839 grant from the NCI to identify genetic mutations and other abnormalities that lead to the genesis and spread of pancreatic islet-cell cancer. Dr. Smiraglia also received a two-year, $165,000 grant from the American Institute for Cancer Research to explore how dietary folate interventions ¾ depletion and supplementation ¾ affect progression to recurrent prostate cancer.
Santosh Patnaik, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Thoracic Surgery, received a two-year year grant of $241,931 from the NCI as co-principal investigator with a collaborator from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to develop microRNA methods to predict prognosis in early-stage lung cancer.
Michael Higgins, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, received a two-year subcontract award of $209,235, from the United States Department of Defense and the University of Nebraska Medical Center to determine whether abnormal expression of a specific gene, called the BORIS gene, contributes to cancer formation in the ovary.
Vijay Jayaprakash, MBBS, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Dentistry & Maxillofacial Prosthetics, received a two-year grant of $206,066 from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. to evaluate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and 18 in oral precancerous lesions and study whether persistent HPV infection is related to the progression to invasive cancer.
Robert Plunkett, MD, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, received a two-year subcontract amount of $146,716 from Buffalo BioLabs LLC and the NCI for work on his project to test a novel anticancer agent, which uses a pathway found in many cancers, against glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive type of primary brain tumor.
Katerina Gurova, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Stress Biology, received a one-year grant of $125,000 from the NCI to test novel anticancer compounds called curaxins against pancreatic cancer.
Elizabeth Repasky, PhD, Professor in the Department of Immunology, received a six-month grant of $23,767 from Cleveland BioLabs Inc. to evaluate the effect of a new anticancer agent from the curaxins family in combination with the FDA-approved drug Tarceva against non-small-cell lung cancer.
Nathalie Zeitouni, MD, Chief of Dermatologic Surgery, received a one-year grant for $7,641 from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery for a project that aims to confirm that non-invasive imaging can accurately measure the depth and thickness of skin tumors.
The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow RPCI on Facebook or Twitter.
Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager