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Marshall University researchers awarded more than $1 million for breast cancer studies


She said, "At the conclusion of a previous study, I realized that the maternal diet containing a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids from canola oil was reducing breast cancer risk in the female offspring, even if the baby was weaned to a usual diet. This had to be an epigenetic influencechanges in gene expression not due to a mutation but due to markers placed on the chromatin. Dr. Georgel is an expert in changes in chromatin structure, so I needed his expertise to find out what was going on.

Hardman said their brief preliminary studies demonstrated a change in chromatin structure associated with changed gene expression that could reduce risk for breast cancer, and paved the way for the new DOD grants.

Hardman said, "This research illustrates the importance of collaboration in modern research. Dr. Georgel has important skills and knowledge that I do not have and vice versa. Together we can do far better than either alone."

Georgel added that the team's work also highlights the importance of studies of epigenetic events, or events that alter the activity of genes without changing their sequence.

"The generation of disease-specific epigenome maps will provide complementary and crucial information to the already well-established genome map," he said.

Hardman also said the grants will serve as a good foundation for the new Marshall University Nutrition and Cancer Center, which will support multiple researchers.

Dr. John Maher, vice president for research and executive director of the Marshall University Research Corporation, congratulated Hardman and Georgel, adding that these newest grants help build on the university's growing reputation for its outstanding biomedical research programs.

Maher said, "The fact that Dr. Hardman and Dr. Georgel's work was selected for funding by the Department of Defense from more than 100 proposals is further proof that Marshall's faculty and cancer research prog

Contact: Ginny Painter
Marshall University Research Corporation

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Marshall University researchers awarded more than $1 million for breast cancer studies
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