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September 29, 2008                                                      

SIU Med School Receives Three Federal Research Grants to Study Cancer

A research scientist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded three federal grants totaling $1.75 million for his cancer research.  Daotai Nie, Ph.D., assistant professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology and member of the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU, is the principal investigator for the projects.

A five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, will study how to suppress prostate cancer.  The study will determine how a protein, 15-Lipoxygenases-2, suppresses prostrate cancer and why the suppression is inactive in cancer patients. The study could lead to improvements in the detection, prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.  The total budget for the grant is $1,107,620.

A second grant from the National Cancer Institute will study multi-drug resistance in prostate cancer.  The research will study the role of the Pregnane X receptor as a regulator of multi-drug resistance in chemotherapy.  The results of the study may lead to the development of a new treatment for prostate cancer.  The total budget for the two-year grant is $218,250.

A three-year grant from the U.S. Army will study breast cancer metastasis.  The research will study whether the thromboxane A2 receptor is activated when breast cancer cells migrate and whether the migration can be blocked by inhibiting this receptor’s activity.  The study may lead to the development of methods to inhibit the metastasis of breast cancer cells.  The total budget for the grant is $433,409.

Nie’s research has been funded for eight years by the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Defense and now totals more than $2.2 million.  His research has focused on the cellular and molecular alterations in the malignant progression of tumors.

Nie joined SIU's faculty in 2005.  He earned his doctoral degree at the University of South Carolina in Columbia (1997) and his master’s degree at the Institute of Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing (1991).

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