Science Market Update

UAB Cancer Center Wins $2.3M SPORE Award for Brain Tumor Research

Posted by BCI Staff on Tue, Nov 15, 2011

The University of Alabama in Birmingham runs one of an elite group of Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  The NCI's Translational Research Program is in charge of administering SPORE awards, which are focused on specific organ sites.  Now UAB is also a SPORE grantee for its brain tumor program, thanks to a recent $2.3M award over three years to its Cancer Center in conjunction with the UAB Division of Neurosurgery. UAB is one of only four institutions to receive a brain-tumor SPORE grant.

According to Dr. G. Yancey Gillespie, Ph.D., professor of surgery:

cancer research program.jpeg“We are honored to receive this recognition and support from the NCI and the NINDS designating our brain-tumor program as one of the top five in the country. This funding will enable us to gain new insights into this devastating disease and rapidly advance novel therapeutics developed in UAB laboratories into clinical trials.”

The SPORE research that Dr. Gillespie and his colleagues will be conducting, to develop new therapies, targets anaplastic gliomas, the most deadly and frequent form of malignant brain tumors.  Two specific projects they will pursue under the grant are:

  1. To develop and test a genetically engineered herpes simplex virus to infect and kill brain tumor cells while sparing normal brain cells.
  2. To test the ability of a monoclonal antibody produced at UAB to bind to human brain-tumor cells and cause them to be killed. 

In addition to the recent SPORE grant, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a five-year, $27.5M Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute to renew support for its cancer research program through 2016.  The UAB Cancer Center will receive more than $5.4 million per year to support six research programs, plus 14 shared facilities and services. 

(Image courtesy of the University of Alabama, Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center)

Biotechnology Calendar Inc. will be on the UAB campus on November 1, 2012 for our 13th Annual Birmingham BioResearch Product Faire™ event, where life science researchers and equipment vendors meet and discuss the latest laboratory technologies. For more information on exhibiting, click the button below:

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Tags: cancer research, Southeast, Alabama, University of Alabama Birmingham

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