NIH awards UTRGV SOM $1.45 million for cancer research

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UTRGV Photo by Office of Research & New Program Development

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas — The UTRGV School of Medicine announced they were awarded a $1.45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The grant will help to support the school of medicine’s goal of developing a treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer.

According to the university’s news release Dr. Bilal Bin Hafeez, assistant professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the UTRGV School of Medicine, received the grant for his research proposal “Targeting ribosome biogenesis and desmoplastic tumor microenvironment for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.”

The focus of the research is to identify new molecular targets which can be rationally used for developing new strategies for the prevention and treatment of advanced solid tumors, specifically prostate and pancreatic cancer.

“The goal of this research is to ultimately develop a treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer,” said Hafeez. “Our findings will contribute to a more thorough understanding of how the process of ribosome biogenesis plays a pivotal role in pancreatic cancer development in the human body.”

The work of Hafeez and his research team will exclusively make use of the competitive grant award for pancreatic cancer research.

Dr. Subhash C. Chauhan, department chair, professor, and director of the Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, said the research will help shed light on the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer, which is the most lethal disease with a very poor prognosis and survival rate, said the news release.

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