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Translational Genomic Research Institute dedicated.


Marshall dedicated its new Charles H. McKown, Jr., MD, Translational Genomic Research Institute in a ceremony Dec. 6.

The institute will allow Marshall's Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program researchers to conduct more investigator-initiated clinical trials. In addition to laboratories dedicated to cancer research, the TGRI will also house the West Virginia Cancer Genomics Network, a partnership of Marshall and West Virginia University. The network is developing a database of genomic information that will allow researchers to compare the genes of multiple patients suffering from the same types of cancer, which could help doctors and researchers predict response to targeted therapies.

Studies taking place in the institute's laboratories focus heavily on nutrition and cancer.

Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio studies the effects of dietary agents on cancer, with emphasis on growth and metastasis, and uses targeted gene therapy to improve the efficacy of cancer treatment. He also recently launched a Phase I clinical trial at the TGRI, seeking to determine the effectiveness of existing chemotherapy treatments for patients with small cell lung cancer.

Dr. Elaine Hardman studies the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the development of cancer. Her published research indicates that, in animal models, a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can prevent the development or slow the growth of multiple cancer types. To extend this research to humans, she and Dr. Oscar Ballester have conducted a human clinical trial in which patients with early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia consumed supplemental omega-3 fatty acids.

Dr. Richard Niles' research focuses on vitamin C and the fact that different tissues in the body and various tumors show altered ability to take up and use the vitamin as a cofactor for enzymatic reactions. He and Dr. Sarah Miles, a postdoctoral fellow in his lab, are involved in a translational project with Dr. Jose Pulido, an ophthalmologist at the Mayo Clinic. This research has led to a provisional patent for a diagnostic test.

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Title Annotation:Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine NEWS
Publication:West Virginia Medical Journal
Geographic Code:1U5WV
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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