U of M Researchers Awarded Grant to Help Answer Questions About Breast Cancer
Thanks to new funding, researchers at the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota are working on a way to bring their lab work to the clinic. Their findings could reduce the risk of breast cancer or help the thousands of patients already suffering.
The 3-year, $600,000 grant was awarded by the V Foundation for Cancer Research as a part of the organization's 2012 Translational Grants. A total of $6 million in grants will be awarded throughout the country to 10 recipients.
The goal of the grant program is to "translate" work in the laboratory to patients.
"Seeing the needs in the clinic and being able to bring things from the basic science arena into a clinic where it can make an impact with the patient," said Reuben Harris, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota.
Harris collaborates with Dr. Douglas Yee, Director of the Masonic Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine.
"That's what we should be doing as people, I think that's what we should be doing as scientists, and moreover that's what we should be doing as a university. We really want to understand fundamental processes such that we change the outcome for a disease," Yee said.
The research focuses on enzyme-catalyzed mutations in breast cancer.
"What we've found is, a DNA mutating enzyme that all of us have is participating in an active way in cancer formation," Harris said.
"We want to use this information to change outcomes for patients with the disease or at risk for developing the disease," Yee said.
The V Foundation was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, the head basketball coach at North Carolina State. Since it was founded, the foundation has raised more than $120 million for cancer research.