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Research Grants Awarded through Auburn University Cancer Research Initiative

By Janet McCoy, 334/844-3698,

Auburn, Alabama —

Five grants have been awarded to Auburn University faculty through a university research initiative in support of interdisciplinary cancer research efforts.

The Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer (AURIC), based at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has announced funding of the grants to six investigators through its Seed Grant program.  Each grant is for one year and up to $20,000. 

Emphasizing the growing nature and wide impact of AURIC, none of these investigators has had previous research support from AURIC.

  • Robert Judd, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, Utilization of Niacin in the Treatment of Colon Cancer: Adiponection
  • Mark Byrne, Jacek Wower, Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Animal Sciences,  Avidity-driven targeting of a novel biohybrid nanoscale programmable carrier engineered for high therapeutic payload and extended release of anticancer drug
  • Wei Liu, School of Kinesiology, To build and validate a biomechanical UE model of TCC using non-disabled women
  • Vishnu Suppiramaniam, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Chemobrain: Molecular mechanisms of memory loss
  • Satyanarayana Pondugula, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, An Anticancer Supplement Induced Changes in Drug-Metabolism Enzymes and Drug-Disposition Proteins

Founded in 2012, the Alabama Legislature, through the sponsorship of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn, was instrumental in establishing AURIC.

AURIC was created to improve both human and animal health, foster an environment of excellence in cancer research, promote research that enhances competitiveness to advance the understanding of the biology of cancer, and foster the translation of novel technologies from the laboratory to the clinic.

AURIC embodies the “One Medicine” concept which links human, animal and environmental health, and where discoveries in one species advance health in all species. “AURIC is human medicine, animal medicine, research and diagnostics where faculty, students, and staff are working together to solve the complex puzzle of cancer,” said Dr. Bruce Smith, director of AURIC.

In 2013, more than 27,000 new cases of cancer are estimated to be diagnosed and more than 10,000 people are estimated to die of cancer in Alabama, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Fact and Figures, 2013.

“In addition to being ill with cancer or seeing relatives endure pain, many Alabamians have also watched a beloved pet suffer from this disease,” said Smith. “Animals and humans share many of the same cancers and what we learn in treating a tumor in a dog can teach us more about treating the same tumor in a person.”

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