Science Market Update

Georgetown Study Finds Cancer Drug May Prevent Parkinsons

Posted by Jennifer Nieuwkerk on Fri, Jul 12, 2013

Scientists at Georgetown University conducted a study published in Human Molecular Genetics that gives insight into a groundbreaking new strategy for treating neurodegenerative diseases featuring an unusual buildup of proteins, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington disease and Lew body dementia, to name a few. According to a Georgetown University news article, the researchers found that when the drug nilotinib is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia, it causes cancer cells to go into autophagy, a biological process that causes the death of cancerous tumor cells.

 “This drug, in very low doses, turns on the garbage disposal machinery inside neurons to clear toxic proteins from the cell. By clearing intracellular proteins, the drug prevents their accumulation in pathological inclusions called Lewy bodies and/or tangles, and also prevents protein secretion into the extracellular space between neurons, so proteins do not form toxic clumps or plaques in the brain.” said neuroscientist Charbel E-H Moussa, the study’s senior investigator. “The doses used to treat CML are high enough that the drug pushes cells to chew up their own internal organelles, causing self-cannibalization and cell death. We reasoned that small doses – for these mice, an equivalent to 1 percent of the dose used in humans – would turn on just enough autophagy [cell degradation] in neurons that the cells would clear malfunctioning proteins, and nothing else.”

Georgetown University contributes a great deal of knowledge through groundbreaking research studies every year. Lab suppliers interested in marketing university lab equipment and increasing lab sales leads at D.C. life science marketing events may also be interested to know that Georgetown University has a richly funded life science sales market. According to recent NSF and NIH research funding statistics, Georgetown University was awarded $59.5 million in 2012. The NSF gave Georgetown University $6 million in 2012. The NSF-funded projects varied across a number of disciplines in the life sciences, including cross-EF activities, population and community ecology, behavioral systems, and evolutionary processes. The top NIH-funded life science project was called “Theoretical Studies of Cytosol” and received $184,500 in research funding. For a full list of projects receiving NSF funding at Georgetown University, please visit the NSF website.


Georgetown University

Georgetown University

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


In addition to receiving $6 million in NSF funding, Georgetown University was also given $53.5 million by the NIH in 2012. Of some of the best funded life science departments at Georgetown University, the money was distributed among departments such as biochemistry, biology, family medicine, internal medicine, microbiology, neurosciences and pharmacology. For a full list of departments at Georgetown University receiving NIH awards organized by department name, number of awards received and total funding awarded, please visit the NIH website.

If you are a biotechnology vendor or lab supplier interested in marketing your university lab equipment and increasing lab sales leads at life science marketing events in the District of Columbia, Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. invites you to attend our annual Georgetown BioResearch Product Faire™ Event held on October 17, 2013. Last year, the Georgetown BioResearch Product Faire™ Event attracted 223 attendees. Of those who came, 59 were purchasing agents, professors and post docs, and 24 were lab managers. The trade show visitors came from 13 different research buildings and 21 departments across campus.

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service science research marketing and events-planning company that organizes life science marketing events at top research universities across the country. For more information on our Georgetown BioResearch Product Faire™ Event, or to view more funding statistics for Georgetown University, click on the button below. If you’d like to market your university lab equipment and increase lab sales leads at life science marketing events closer to home, we encourage you to view our 2013 calendar of events.


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Tags: 2014, 2013, Georgetown University, Washington DC, Northeast, D.C., Geotwn, BioResearch Product Faire Event

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