SIU professor receives grant to destroy cancer stem cells - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIU professor receives grant to destroy cancer stem cells

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CARBONDALE -- Researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are working to find a cure for cancer thanks to a $158,000 grant from a private foundation.

Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide impacting millions of people around the globe.

Farhan Chowdhury, an Assistant Professor from SIU, says, "I can see the sufferings of people, so essentially if I can make a difference, not only in the region but overall, that would be some unique, that's my goal."

Chowdhury is now taking his expertise in Mechanical Engineering and applying it to destroying cancer stem cells, "When we isolate them then we can study them in detail, try to find out what these cells are made of."

Tumor-initiating cells thrive in a soft tissue environment and Chowdhury hopes to recreate this environment in order to isolate and study these cells, "We try to find the key to the lock."

Once the target is found, the next step will be to find a way to neutralize the cells.

Chowdhury explains, "If the tumor is there it's there, it's not going to grow, its not going to metastasize, it's not going to kill the patients."

Very few cells are required to generate tumors but Chowdhury remains optimistic, "Lets see how far I can go but I'm hopeful, I think we have a good hypothesis, we have good results, I think we can definitely push it forward and make a difference."

The grant covers a year of work for the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation. Two graduate students will also take part in the research.

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