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UofL receives $3.15 million grant from Helmsley Charitable Trust
Date:8/5/2010

The University of Louisville has received a $3.15 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to support the UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center and cancer research taking place in Owensboro. The grant will be matched with state "Bucks for Brains" funding to bring more than $4.5 million to the Owensboro Cancer Research Program (OCRP).

"When we established this program in partnership with Owensboro Medical Health System (OMHS) in 2006, we envisioned other significant organizations joining us in our effort to create and develop novel approaches to preventing and treating cancer," said Dr. James Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville. "This gift from the Helmsley Trust moves our vision forward and is recognition for the importance of the work taking place here."

"We are excited to see the fine work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and Owensboro Medical Health System expand through this public/private initiative," noted John Codey, trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. "The promise of plant-based pharmaceuticals and vaccines to dramatically improve healthcare at reduced cost is both exciting and critically important."

The grant and state matching funds will be used to create an endowed faculty position for a nationally recognized researcher in plant-based pharmaceuticals, as well as creating two new faculty members to expand and enhance the research program.

The tobacco-based process involves inserting genes needed for drug development into the tobacco genome. The leaves are then harvested, processed and purified to derive a key ingredient.

Projects underway at OCRP include, but are not limited to, the development of a plant-based vaccine to prevent HIV, understanding how changes in the calcium-signaling pathway of stem cells impacts the development and continued growth of lung cancer cells, as well as determining whether the interaction of the heavy metal cadmium with
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Contact: Lauren Williams
lauren.williams@louisville.edu
502-852-7461
University of Louisville
Source:Eurekalert

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