$3.3 Million in New Grants to Help Diagnose and Treat Cancer

Three engineering research projects at The University of Texas at Austin--a protein therapy for liver cancer, an antibody therapy for cancer treatment and an immunity booster to respond to cancer--received $3.3 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

George Georgiou, professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering, received $2 million to continue the preclinical development of his highly promising new proteins for treating liver cancer. Liver cancer therapy using Georgiou's newly developed proteins has shown promise in early laboratory experiments. The grant will allow Georgiou's research team to continue improving the laboratory results.

Georgiou received an additional grant of $200,000 to increase the effectiveness of antibodies in cancer treatment. Georgiou was the only researcher to receive two awards from the new institute.

Krishnendu Roy, associate professor of biomedical engineering, received $1 million to develop a drug therapy that improves the body's immune system for fighting cancer cells.

"Preventing and treating this tragic disease is a privilege for our faculty," says Gregory L. Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. "With their track records in using engineering science to develop new therapies, Drs. Georgiou and Roy will reward Texas' investment with creative new options to fight cancer."

Texas' new cancer institute, created through a constitutional amendment and approved by Texas voters in 2007, announced the grants Jan. 20. In a highly competitive selection process, the state funded 66 projects from 880 applications in its first round of research funding which invited "high impact/high risk" and "individual investigator" projects.