Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Presents $200,000 Grant to Baylor Researchers

April 12, 2010

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Two Baylor University researchers have received a $200,000 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to study a series of compounds that could be toxic against human cancer cells.

The grant was presented April 12 by CPRIT Oversight Committee Chairman Jimmy Mansour and Executive Director William Gimson to Baylor Vice Provost for Research Dr. Truell Hyde.

The grant, which is part of $3 billion in cancer research grants the state will award during the next decade, will allow Dr. Kevin Pinney, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Dr. Mary Lynn Trawick, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, to study the chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology associated with the new potential anticancer compounds that have recently emerged from Baylor's ongoing cancer research program.

"This study will allow for the design and synthesis of a variety of new molecules that have remarkable toxicity against selected cancer cell lines," Pinney said. "It will facilitate the biochemical and biological studies necessary to determine whether any of the new compounds might be suitable to move forward for more advanced studies."

Pinney and Trawick will collectively provide overall leadership for the project. Pinney and his research team will be involved with the synthesis, purification and characterization of the new potential anticancer compounds, while Trawick and her research team will evaluate the biochemistry and cell biology.

"We will be studying the cell mechanism of these compounds to see just how potent they are to cancer cells which could eventually lead to new drug discovery," Trawick said. "Any time you deal with research focused on major diseases, like cancer, it has far reaching implications in terms of potential benefit for society."

Additionally, a portion of the grant will fund a research consortium with collaborators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, specifically tumor imaging studies using these compounds.

The $3 billion in expected funding over the next decade makes Texas the second-largest grantor of cancer research money in the country, behind only the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz, (254) 710-1964

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