NIH Grant of $1.8M Awarded to Investigate Viral Gene Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

NIH Grant of $1.8M  Awarded to Investigate Viral Gene Therapy for Ovarian Cancer
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded an R01 grant to Junghae Suh, a Rice University researcher, to investigate the use of viral gene therapy to fight ovarian cancer (OC). Suh is a bioengineer in the field of gene therapy and a 2016 winner of the Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. The five-year grant is worth $1.8 million and will fund collaborative research between Suh's lab and Dr. Anil Sood, a University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center surgeon specialist and researcher in ovarian cancer. The team will work to otherwise-harmless adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) to identify extracellular enzymes that are over-expressed by ovarian tumors and deliver therapeutic genes to diseased cells. “Proteases are expressed in normal tissue remodeling, but if you cut open and look at tumor tissue, you find them in highly elevated levels. Proteases are enzymes that chew up proteins. In cancer, they help tumors grow, migrate and metastasize to other sites in the body,” Suh said in a press
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