Two biomedical researchers at Michigan State University have received a total of $600,000 in high-risk, high-reward Catalyst Awards from the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust.
Karen Liby, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology – a shared department in the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and Human Medicine – and Robert Abramovitch, associate professor for the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Human Medicine and MSU AgBioResearch, will each receive $300,000 to fund their promising drug development projects.
An MSU researcher is part of an international team that found an approved drug could reduce harmful effects of anticancer drug cisplatin A Michigan State University researcher is part of an international team that found an existing drug may help decrease side effects of cisplatin, a widely used cancer treatment that was discovered at MSU in 1965.
Since its discovery, cisplatin has become the gold standard against which all cancer treatments are measured. Currently, cisplatin is used to treat testicular, ovarian, bladder, lung, stomach and head and neck cancers. While cisplatin has proven to be an effective chemotherapy drug to treat cancer, the side effects of the treatment can be debilitating and may result in treatment cessation. Examples of such side effects include peripheral neuropathy, which causes severe pain in hands and feet, and kidney toxicity, which can lead to kidney failure in 35% of patients who take cisplatin. Currently, no drugs are available that reduce these side effects.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, largely because most patients with lung cancer are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease. Despite this, until now it wasn’t known if lung cancer screening would be effective in identifying early-stage patients in the general population.
New research from Michigan State University has found that using low-dose computed tomography, or LDCT, for lung cancer screening has led to a significant decrease in advanced lung cancer in the U.S.
When thinking about why breast cancer develops, it is critical to understand how normal development works. This is one of the driving factors in Eran Andrechek’s lab in the Michigan State University Department of Physiology, housed in the College of Natural Science.
Recently, the National Institutes of Health awarded him a five-year, $2.5 million grant to fund his research project of defining the role of the repressor E2F5 gene in mammary gland development. The gene is a part of the E2F family of transcription factors which is made up of activators and repressors. Andrechek said that while the role of the activator E2Fs is known to regulate mammary gland development, little is known of the role of the repressor E2Fs.