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October 17, 2008

SIU Med School Receives Two National Grants to Study Breast Cancer

Two research scientists at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield have each received a one-year U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity award for the study of breast cancer.

Yin-Yuan Mo, Ph.D., associate professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology and member of the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU, is the principal investigator of a grant to study small nucleic acids called micro RNA.  Because of their importance in malignancies, micro RNAs may offer new targets in the treatment of breast cancer.  The total budget for the grant is $108,375.

Richard A. Woo, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery and member of the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU, is the principal investigator of a grant to study cancer development in the breast.  The research will evaluate the normal tissue that surrounds cancer cells to determine whether cells in the normal tissue signal to tumor cells or stimulate tumor growth.  Results of the study may suggest new ways to limit the spread of cancer and to prevent normal breast tissue from becoming cancerous.  The total budget for the grant is $108,375.

Mo joined the SIU faculty in 2003.  He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in microbiology and earned his doctoral degree at Washington State University in Pullman (1994, 1991).  He earned his bachelor’s at Zhejiang University in China (1982).

Woo joined the SIU faculty in 2007.  He completed postdoctoral fellowships in molecular oncology at Hong Kong University (2005) and in cancer biology at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (2002), where he also earned his doctoral degree in molecular oncology and his bachelor’s in cellular, molecular and microbial biology (2001, 1993).

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