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Biology, computer science combine efforts to fight cancer
Date:7/27/2010

HOUSTON, July 27, 2010 The University of Houston (UH) received a $2.4 million grant to fund the most promising young cancer researchers who are working at the cutting-edge of a new multidisciplinary approach to fighting cancer.

The award is part of the latest round of grant disbursements from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which oversees the state's new billion-dollar war on cancer. It is UH's second CPRIT grant, and the first in the science and engineering fields.

The money will fund postdoctoral scientists at UH whose research combines cancer biology with computational disciplines like computer science, theoretical physics or chemistry. The grant builds on UH's existing collaborations with the Texas Medical Center (TMC) within the Keck Center for Interdisciplinary Bioscience, which will help administer the program.

New science Ph.D. graduates typically complete a two year or more postdoctoral program before starting research careers in academia, government or industry. The CPRIT postdoctoral researchers in this new program will have two faculty mentors one in a computational field and one in cancer biology chosen from UH, Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, UT Health Science Center, UT Medical Branch Galveston or the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

"There's a realization that all the problems of cancer won't be solved by biology," said B. Montgomery Pettitt, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor and director of UH's CPRIT training program. "We need to bring the expertise in a wide variety of fields to bear on these problems, because the most revolutionary stuff comes from thinking at the interface of disciplines."

Beginning in September, one dozen postdoctoral trainees will be chosen. The program also will provide summer research opportunities for about 20 undergraduates. The cross-disciplinary nature of the program will, for example, all
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Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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