UTA receives CPRIT funding to support cancer research programs

The University of Texas at Arlington received more than $2.1 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to support the University's flourishing cancer research programs.

CPRIT, created by a 2007 Texas constitutional amendment and authorized to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services, awarded grants to Yaowu Hao, materials science and engineering associate professor, and Piya Ghose, a new assistant professor of biology.

Ghose received a $2 million award designated for first-time, tenure-track faculty members. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University and brings to UTA an established portfolio of investigating programmed cell death, which has major implications for cancer treatment.

Hao received approximately $200,000 to investigate the use of radioactive nanoseeds for eradicating glioblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer. This funding will empower Hao to build on his expertise in the area of radiotherapeutic nanoseeds, which work from inside inoperable solid tumors and cause less damage to healthy cells.

UTA's cancer research portfolio comprises experts who represent science, liberal arts, engineering, nursing, kinesiology and even mathematics. Our faculty reach across clinical and academic boundaries to deepen our understanding of cancer to develop better diagnostics and treatment methods to improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Hao continues to be at the forefront of his field of work, and I look forward to how this new CPRIT funding will position him for continued breakthroughs. And we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ghose to our campus. I am excited to seeing her work develop and fortify our research community."

Duane Dimos, Vice President for Research, University of Texas at Arlington

UTA is establishing itself as a major cancer research institution with a multidisciplinary community of faculty members working to conduct innovative research that improves outcomes across the complete spectrum of the patient experience.

Recent notable developments in cancer research at UTA include

  • the successful development of an implantable device that attracts and kills circulating cancer cells by Liping Tang, professor of bioengineering;
  • a $1.17 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support Clay Clark's, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, investigation of the regulation of proteins responsible for programmed cell death;
  • the development of a new nanoparticle-based platform for simultaneous imaging and treatment of esophageal cancer by Zui Pan, associate professor of nursing; and
  • a breakthrough from Wei Chen, professor of physics, in the use of nanoparticles stimulated by microwaves to combat cancer. Chen was also recently awarded U.S. and international patents for nanoparticles that attack multiple kinds of cancer.

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