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Cancer Agency Awards More Than $3 Million to University of Texas at Austin Scientists

$3M from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas will support cancer research in the departments of Molecular Biosciences and Chemistry.

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AUSTIN, Texas – Three awards totaling $3.19 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) will support cancer research in The University of Texas at Austin’s Departments of Molecular Biosciences and Chemistry.

Everett Stone, a research assistant professor of molecular biosciences, was awarded a $900,000 Individual Investigator Award to aid in the development of a potential drug to treat prostate cancer and glioblastoma. Stone’s research has focused on the engineering, design and pharmacological optimization of enzyme therapeutics that can effectively target cancer and diseases caused by inborn errors of metabolism. This is his first CPRIT award.

Lauren Ehrlich, an associate professor of molecular biosciences, was awarded $1.2 million to study contributors to T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), a type of cancer that occurs primarily in children. Ehrlich’s research focuses in part on the microenvironments around tumors and how they contribute to cancer growth. Hers was one of nine Individual Investigator Awards for Cancer in Children and Adolescents that CPRIT announced Wednesday. Ehrlich had previously received a Scientific Recruitment Award from CPRIT in 2010.

Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, an assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded a $1.1 million Individual Investigator Award for Clinical Translation for using mass spectrometry imaging for patients with ovarian cancer in surgery and treatment. This is the third CPRIT award for Eberlin, who recently developed the MasSpec Pen to better identify cancerous tissue during surgery. She also received a High-Impact, High-Risk award in spring 2016 and an Early Translational Research Award in the fall of 2016.

The three UT researchers are among 49 Texas scientists awarded more than $73.5 million in grants given Wednesday to support the fight against cancer. Since 2007, CPRIT has awarded $1.95 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations.