The Children's Brain Tumor Foundation funds only three research projects each year. This year, one of those funded projects is from the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy.
Karen Briski, Ph.D. and department head of basic pharmaceutical sciences, was awarded a $150,000 grant for the project, “Novel Delivery Modes for Small Molecule Inhibitors of Medulloblastoma." She will attend a special reception in New York City on Nov. 13 to accept the award.
Medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric brain tumor for which no satisfactory treatments currently exist, Briski said.
“Due to the severe, long-term side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, new non-toxic, molecular-based approaches are urgently needed," said Briski. “Through this project, I believe we can make an important contribution to a significant problem.”
Briski's interdisciplinary research team has collective expertise in pharmaceutics, neuroscience, nanotechnology, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, and toxicology. “I am always looking for the College of Pharmacy to engage in projects that enable the usage of interdisciplinary research. I believe major breakthroughs occur when a team-based approach is used," she said.
Her team includes:
- Seetharama Jois, Amal Kaddoumi, Kevin Baer—all Ph.D.s from ULM's College of Pharmacy
- Gary Glass of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Louisiana Accelerator Center
- Amitava Roy and Challa Kumar of Louisiana State University's Center for Microstructures and Devices in Baton Rouge.
The researchers will pursue the following objectives:
- develop novel pharmaceutical mechanisms for optimal delivery of agents targeting the molecular pathogenesis of medulloblastoma
- correlate drug accumulation with medulloblastoma tumor cell death and tumor regression
- evaluate non-specific uptake and potential adverse effects of drug treatment on normal brain tissue and other organs.
For additional information about this project, contact Briski at firstname.lastname@example.org