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April 3, 2008

Jois obtains $50,000 grant for breast cancer research

ULM’s Dr. Seetharama D. Satyanarayanajois (Jois), assistant professor of medicinal chemistry in the College of Pharmacy, recently received a $50,000 Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence award from the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network for the project “Targeting HER-2 Protein for Breast Cancer Using Computational Approach.”

This is a pilot project awarded to evaluate new ideas. According to Jois, “The project is unique in the sense that it uses a computational approach to discover molecules that may be useful for therapy of breast cancer.”

Instead of synthesizing hundreds of chemicals in the laboratory, ULM’s lab uses “in silico,” or virtual screening procedures, to evaluate different compounds to target proteins responsible for breast cancer. Only a handful of compounds from the in silico screening, which show the most promise, will be selected for chemical synthesizing and evaluation in the laboratory for anticancer effect.

Jois continued, “The idea of this type of project is to bring together collaborative expertise from different fields in science to answer important questions related to human health.”

Dr. Robert Hammer at LSU’s department of chemistry is the mentor for this project. Jois hopes that the results from this pilot project will be fruitful and will be helpful to obtain further research funding from LBRN.

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