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Media Contact: Vincent Joseph Dollard 12 April 2005    
  (404) 727-3366   Print  | Email ]

Georgia Tech and Emory Announce Fund for Innovative Technologies Grant Recipients
Georgia Tech and Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute today announced grant awards to eight scientists who are developing innovative new technologies to battle cancer. The awards, which are funded through support from The V Foundation and the Georgia Cancer Coalition, will be used to develop new technologies for cancer detection, prevention and treatment.

"These awards are extremely important for many reasons," said Jonathan Simons, MD, Director of the Winship Cancer Institute. "The grants help fund collaboration between two great universities Georgia Tech and Emory to accelerate development of emerging biotechnologies. At the same time, we are providing seed money to explore new, scientifically sound innovations to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in the fight against cancer."

The research projects selected for funding are:

1) "Investigation of Secondary Neutron Dose Equivalent from Linear Accelerator Multileaf Collimator Configurations" $45,000 Grant Rebecca M. Howell, PhD, Medical Physicist, Emory University, and Nolan E. Hertel, PhD, Professor, Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Georgia Tech.

2) "A Novel, Combinatorial Approach to Targeting Nanocarriers to Gliomas" $45,000 Grant Ravi Bellamkonda, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurological Biomaterials and Therapeutics, Georgia. Tech, and David L. Jaye, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University

3) "A Novel Methodology in the Detection of Biomarkers by an Acoustic Wave Biosensor in Head and Neck Cancer" $45,000 William D. Hunt, PhD, Professor, Electrical Engineering, Georgia Tech, and Dong M. Shin, MD, Professor, Hematology and Oncology, Emory University Georgia Z. Chen, PhD, Associate Professor, Georgia Tech

4) "A New Platform for Anticancer Drug Discovery" $25,000 Rachel Chen, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Tech.

"Twenty-five research proposals were submitted," said Paul Doetsch, PhD, Associate Director of Basic Research at the Winship Cancer Institute and Co-Program Director for the FICT grant process. "Proposals were scored for innovation, scientific quality, feasibility and potential impact on cancer research and treatment. We were pleased at the number of submissions and that almost half of the proposals scored extremely well. The number and high quality of grant submissions highlight the need for funding mechanisms of this type."

This is the first year the Georgia Tech -- Emory FICT awards have been distributed. The grants are made possible through a collaboration between The V Foundation and the Georgia Cancer Coalition. The V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives and finding a cure for cancer.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this scientific initiative," said Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation. "The V Foundation seeks out promising young scientists from the finest research facilities across the country who need early developmental, critical-stage grant support. The Georgia Tech ¬ Emory FICT grants is a perfect fit with our mission. We are proud to support these young investigators."

The Georgia Cancer Coalition, which also funds innovations in cancer research, saw the collaborative work between Georgia Tech and Emory as important and joined with The V Foundation in providing funds for the grant awards. The GCC has contributed more than $32 million to cancer research in Georgia since its inception in 2000.

"The quality of these grant proposals made selecting just four very difficult," said Dr. Alfred Merrill, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at Georgia Tech and Co-Program Director of the FICT grant process.

"These grants provide a wonderful example of the value of collaboration," said William Todd, President and CEO of the Georgia Cancer Coalition.

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