Research initiative brings ASU students to campus


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By Jan Jarvis

Student and faculty at poster presentation

 

Four Alabama State University students spent their summer conducting prostate cancer research at UNT Health Science Center as part of a collaborative initiative that benefits both institutions.

A $295,481 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense is funding the initiative, which focuses on training underrepresented students and combating the problem of health disparities.

“UNTHSC has a long-standing commitment to minority education, community outreach and health disparity research,” said Principal Investigator Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, PhD, Regents Professor and Vice President of Diversity and International Programs.

“This award from the Department of Defense will strengthen the existing relationship with Alabama State University and provide research opportunities for ASU students in laboratories of UNTHSC investigators,” he said. “This collaboration is one step toward increasing the diversity of our biomedical workforce.”

The award allows students from biomedical disciplines to get training in prostate cancer research, said Manoj Mishra, PhD, Director of Cancer Biology Research and Training at ASU, who serves as co-investigator and faculty advisor. One of the long-term goals focuses on finding ways to eliminate health disparity in prostate cancer among African Americans.

Dr. Vishwanatha’s laboratory is investigating genetic markers that predict development of aggressive prostate and breast cancers. He is developing nanotechnology-based therapies for breast and prostate cancer metastases.

The grant benefits both institutions, Dr. Mishra said.

“This grant is an example of collaborative teamwork between two institutions and has potential to change the dynamics of prostate cancer research training of underrepresented students at ASU,” he said.

 

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