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Scripps Research scientists share $2 million in Florida state research grants
Date:6/30/2010

JUPITER, FL, June 30, 2010 The Florida Biomedical Research Program has awarded $2 million in biomedical research grants to three scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute.

This year's awards went to Glenn Micalizio, an associate professor in the Scripps Research Department of Chemistry, who will receive $1,199,600 over five years; Thomas Bannister, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and associate scientific director of Scripps Florida's Translational Research Institute, who won a grant of $400,000 over three years; and Douglas Kojetin, an assistant professor in the Molecular Therapeutics Department, who also won $400,000 over three years.

The grants will begin on July 1, 2010.

The highly competitive grants from the Florida Biomedical Research Program support innovative research into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and/or cure of cancer and tobacco-related diseases. Funding comes primarily from taxes collected from the sale of tobacco products.

Exploring Innovative Cancer Treatments Micalizio's five-year grant will make it possible for him to study naturally occurring anticancer agents that could become potential chemotherapeutic agents.

"We're looking at a protein called Hsp90, which is of considerable interest in cancer," Micalizio said, "because it plays a central role in controlling the function of a host of other proteins that are known to be oncogenic or cancer causing. Inhibiting Hsp90 results in the selective destruction of cancer cells. Unfortunately, the chemical structures of various natural products have proven difficult to optimize as therapeutic agents. Our aim is to develop ways to overcome those barriers. It's an exciting opportunity for chemists to help drive the search for the next generation of anticancer chemotherapeutic agents."

For Bannister, the grant is an opportunity to pursue an equally novel form of potential cancer treatment as part of
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Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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