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Worcester State Awarded a $206K NIH Grant for Cancer Research

February 8, 2010
By: Worcester State University News

Worcester State College has been awarded a $206,302 NIH grant for cancer research.  The grant will fund the project “The Role of VEGF-stimulated Rhoa/ROCK2 signaling in blood vessel formation.”  The funding comes from NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and will fund a project that will study how starving blood vessels could shrink tumors.

“By starving the blood supply to tumors we may be able to cut off the oxygen and nutrients supplied to the tumor and, hopefully, it will starve and die,” said Biology Professor Brad Bryan, who wrote the grant proposal.

In addition to continuing the fight against cancer, the NIH funding offers a great research opportunity for WSC students, he added. “It is unusual for undergraduates to participate in this kind of research.  It will really set them apart from the pack when they enter the workforce or apply to graduate school.”

Bryan and his students have already been active in cancer research.  In fact, 19 of his students were published along with Bryan in Oncology Reports (Oncology Reports 23: 861-867, 2010) for a research project last year that found a promising treatment for melanoma.  The article, “Pharmacological inhibition of Rho-kinase signaling with Y-27632 blocks melanoma tumor growth,” was co-authored by WSC students Alissa  Routhier, Michelle Astuccio, Deanna Lahey, Nicholas Monfredo, Alyssa Johnson, William Callahan, Amy Partington, Kelly Fellows, Lori Ouellette, Sofiela Zhidro, Carrie Goodrow, Alexis Smith, Kaitlyn Sullivan, Peter Simone, Leo Le, Bora Vezuli, Micheline Zohni, Elizabeth West, and Daniel Gleason.

This Worcester State College’s First NIH grant.


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