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Cao in his laboratory
Portrait of Cao

July 10, 2009

SIU Med School Receives Federal Grant to Study Breast Cancer

A research scientist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded a three-year federal grant from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, funded by the Department of the Army to study breast cancer.  The total budget for the grant is $547,000.

The principal investigator for the project is Dr. Deliang Cao, Ph.D., associate professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology and member of the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU.

The research will study the protein ARL-1 in breast cancer at different stages to determine whether it can be used as a biomarker of the disease.  The study also will examine cell and animal tumor models to determine the role of the protein in lipid metabolism of breast cancer cells.  The results of the study may lead to the development of a new prevention option or treatment for breast cancer.

Cao’s research, which previously has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, now totals $2.2 million.  His research focuses on the role of ARL-1 in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of liver, colon and breast cancer.

Cao joined the SIU faculty in 2005.  He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Hong Kong (1996), his master’s at Harbin Medical University (1989) and his medical degree at Hengyang Medical College (1984), all in China.