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Dunn Foundation awards bioscience grants
Date:11/25/2013

HOUSTON (Nov. 25, 2013) Five teams of scientists earned research seed grants awarded this year by the John S. Dunn Foundation. The awards support new collaborations by researchers at Rice University's BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) and their partners at other institutional members of the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC).

Winning projects include a nanotherapeutic treatment for cancer and novel strategies for vascular health and cancer diagnostics. The John S. Dunn Collaborative Research Award Program also funded a workshop on plant-inspired energy conversion and storage. Research seed grants in the program's fifth year are worth almost $100,000 each. The workshop award is $8,000. The awards support projects that foster interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research at the BRC. The GCC administers the program.

Nanotube detectors

Definitive detection of tumors is the focus of a project led by Rice biochemist Kathleen Beckingham and Robert Bast of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. They are developing infrared probes that use fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes to find and monitor cancer biomarkers, focusing first on ovarian cancers.

They expect the new materials will aid in cancer detection in two ways. First, these probes will expand the range of cancer markers that can be monitored simultaneously, thus increasing diagnostic certainty. In addition, using infrared light to specifically heat and destroy cancer cells bound to nanotube probes should allow tumor detection and ablation without surgical intervention.

Beckingham is a professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice, and Bast is a professor of medicine in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics, the Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research and vice president of translational research at MD Anderson.

Noninvasive colonoscopy

MD Anderson researcher Pratip
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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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