Hutch News

Tewari wins prostate-research award

Muneesh Tewari is among 10 researchers worldwide who will share $1 million from the Prostate Cancer Foundation for innovative projects

April 6, 2009
Dr. Muneesh Tewari

Dr. Muneesh Tewari's project is on the cutting edge of a new technology whereby diagnosis, prognosis and optimal prostate-cancer treatment strategy might be determined by analysis of circulating microRNAs.

Photo by Dean Forbes

The Prostate Cancer Foundation has announced that it has funded 10, $100,000 Creativity Awards for advanced prostate cancer research. Among the recipients is first-time Creativity Award winner Dr. Muneesh Tewari of the Hutchinson Center’s Human Biology Division.

Tewari, a systems biologist and oncologist, studies MicroRNAs—small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression and have been found to circulate in blood within lipid membrane-encased particles (exosomes) that are secreted from cancer cells. These molecules appear to be cancer-specific and hold great promise for molecular profiling of tumors. The project is on the cutting edge of a new technology whereby diagnosis, prognosis and optimal treatment strategy might be determined by analysis of circulating microRNAs. Tewari will optimize the isolation of exosomes and purification of microRNAs from prostate cancer models followed by genetic probing of these materials. This technology ultimately may be useful to patients for personalized treatment and improved prognostic information.

“We were impressed with the unique ideas represented by the applications we received. A rigorous peer review process vetted the 10 selected projects from a field of more than 300 applications representing 105 institutions in 11 countries,” said Dr. Howard Soule,  executive vice president and chief scientist for the PCF.  “These awards feed our pipeline of compelling ideas to cultivate new solutions for the prostate cancer problem. Promising results will translate into better therapies for patients with advanced prostate cancer.”
 
The one-year Creativity Awards are designed to aid the advancement of innovative research ideas that are not currently funded by any existing government or private sources. Historically, 70 percent of such PCF awards have gone on to attract additional multi-year funding from the PCF and other sources. Since it’s inception in 1993, the PCF has raised nearly $370 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 research projects at nearly 200 institutions worldwide.

Read more about prostate cancer and the PCF at www.pcf.org.

[Adapted from a Prostate Cancer Foundation news release.]

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