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Fighting breast cancer early, one cell at a time
Date:10/31/2011

BOSTON and MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. -- A team of scientists at Tufts University will develop ultra-sensitive techniques at the single-molecule and single-cell levels designed to detect breast cancer earlier, and treat it with greater precision, through a $6.6 million Innovator Award from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program made to Tufts chemist David R. Walt, Ph.D.

The Innovator Awards provide "individuals who have a history of creativity, innovative work, and leadership with the funding and freedom to pursue their most novel, visionary, high-risk ideas that could ultimately lead to the eradication of breast cancer."

Principal Investigator Walt, who is Robinson Professor of Chemistry at Tufts' School of Arts and Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, applies micro- and nanotechnology to urgent biological problems. Technologies that have come out of his laboratory include DNA microarrays, sequencing methods, medical diagnostic methods, and basic biochemistry research. He is credited with the first documented use of the word "microarray" in the scientific literature.

Collaborating with Walt are three Tufts specialists in breast cancer: Rachel Buchsbaum, M.D., the Diane Connolly-Zaniboni Scholar in Breast Cancer Research in the Molecular Oncology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and a breast oncologist and researcher on molecular mechanisms of metastasis and the cancer microenvironment; Charlotte Kuperwasser, Ph.D., associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and an expert on stem cell and tissue regulation of the molecular pathways of breast cancer progression; and Gail Sonenshein, Ph.D., professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, internationally known for her work in molecular signaling mechanisms in breast cancer. Buchsbaum, Kuperwasser and Sonenshein are also program faculty at the Sackler School of
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Contact: Kim Thurler
kim.thurler@tufts.edu
617-627-3175
Tufts University
Source:Eurekalert

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