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$1M awarded for breast cancer research


Saskatoon, SK – Three University of Saskatchewan researchers have been awarded a total of more than $1 million from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) in support of research that could help prevent, detect and treat the deadly disease.

“Thanks to the foundation’s support, our three outstanding U of S research teams will advance their various innovative approaches to solving the challenges posed by this devastating disease,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president of research. “On the road to helping create a future without breast cancer, they will be training our students and post-doctoral fellows, many of whom will be the talented researchers of tomorrow.”

The grants were awarded to the following College of Medicine researchers:

  • Francisco Cayabyab, assistant professor of physiology, was awarded $303,468 over three years to use cutting-edge imaging technology, biochemical and electrophysiological techniques, along with human breast cancer cells, to determine how estrogen triggers potassium ion channel expression and cancer cell growth—work that may ultimately identify new anti-cancer drug targets that inhibit breast tumors.
  • Andrew Freywald, associate professor of pathology, was awarded with U of S co-investigators Scot Leary, assistant professor of biochemistry, and Rajni Chibbar, associate professor of pathology, $366,171 over three years, to identify new mechanisms for controlling cancer resistance. This work may lead to new approaches to effectively treat breast cancer by activating a protein that helps to trigger cancer cell death.
  • Wei Xiao, professor of microbiology and immunology, was awarded with U of S co-investigator Ron Geyer, professor of pathology, $375,000 to determine how the Uev1 gene plays its role in promoting breast cancer and develop reagents specifically targeting the longer form of the gene for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.