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CVM Distinguished Professor Receives Grant from Department of Defense

Posted November 02, 2010

CVM Distinguished Professor Receives Grant from Department of Defense

Dr. Stephen Safe, distinguished professor of toxicology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and the Institute for Biotechnology (IBT) at the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center along with Dr. Mandip Sachdeva, professor of pharmaceutical sciences with the Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy, recently received a grant from the Department of Defense (DOD) - Army Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) for their project entitled "The Role of Novel Substituted Diindolylmethane Analogues in the Treatment of Triple - Negative and ErbB2 - Positive Breast Cancer" which will be funded $1.4 million over four years. 

The BCRP was initiated to promote research focused on eliminating breast cancer and to challenge the scientific community to develop innovative approaches that will foster new directions and growth toward the battle against breast cancer. 

According to the BCRP application, "The BCRP focuses its funding on innovative projects that have the potential to make a significant impact on breast cancer, particularly those involving multidisciplinary and/or multi-institutional collaborations and alliances. Under investigated avenues of research and novel applications of existing technologies are strongly encouraged." 

Under this grant Texas A&M University will serve as a mentoring institution to Florida A&M University because Florida A&M University is a predominantly black university and the BCPR is listed under the agreement with the DOD and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) Partnership Training Award. This award will help build new collaborations with members of the chemistry department from Florida A&M University and the CVM as well as enhance current relationships. Dr. Robert Burghardt, professor at the CVM, and Dr. Weston Porter, associate professor at the CVM, are also part of the Texas A&M faculty mentoring team.  

Safe currently has four grants which he utilizes for his research on development of novel mechanism-based drugs for treatment of breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer.  Safe's cancer research focuses on treatment for late stage cancers which are highly aggressive and can undergo metastasis where the cancer cells spread from their original location to other parts of the body. Through this research his research group has made promising strides in the fight against invasive and metastatic cancer due to the novel drugs that have been developed in his laboratory. 

"I am very excited about this particular grant because it will allow us to expand on our current research on breast cancer, and this will involve training independent researchers at Florida A&M to collaborate in this research and to promote future independent research efforts on their own," explains Safe. "This grant is also very beneficial because of the involvement of scientists with expertise in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, molecular and cell biology and this will facilitate development of clinically useful anticancer drugs." 

Contact Information:
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718 

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