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Dalby Receives $1 Million CPRIT Grant

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded a $1 million grant to Dr. Kevin Dalby, associate professor of medicinal chemistry.

Dalby and Dr. Bulent Ozpolat, assistant professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, discovered that some molecules with similarities to an established class of drugs have potential to treat breast cancer. Dalby and Ozpolat, who have been collaborating for several years, will use the CPRIT grant to expand that research.

The major cause of death of breast cancer patients is development of resistance to current therapies and metastasis, severely limiting the success of treatment. Dalby and Ozoplat have been examining new cell signaling pathways potentially associated with breast cancer.  Their goal is to understand these pathways and to determine the clinical potential of blocking them.

As part of their CPRIT-funded research Dalby and Ozoplat will investigate the mechanism of action of these newly identified compounds, devise a delivery system for potential therapy and determine whether that therapy works better alone or with chemotherapy.

Earlier in the year, CPRIT awarded Dalby $2.4 million to support work at the university's Texas Institute for Drug and Diagnostic Development (TI-3D). It was part of a $12.6 million award to establish the Texas Screening Alliance for Cancer Therapeutics (Tx-SACT), of which Dalby is co-director.

The alliance provides researchers with access to resources, such as siRNA and chemical library screening, which often are only available to scientists working in large pharmaceutical companies.

The Dalby laboratory focuses on understanding the roles of protein kinases in cancer. Protein kinases are a class of enzyme that regulate cellular signaling and are considered to be the major drug target of the 21st century. Dalby develops novel compounds that inhibit the activity of protein kinases, which potentially can be utilized therapeutically, as well as to further understand basic mechanisms of cancer.  

Last Reviewed: November 17, 2011
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