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IMU Scientists embark on understanding the nuts and bolts of cancer

21 Oct 2013

Cancer is a dreaded disease. It is estimated that at least 12 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and more than half of them will die because of this disease. This is equivalent to 1 person dying of cancers every 5 seconds daily. To understand the machinery of cancer, IMU researchers will focus on the biological nuts and bolts which  is basic research — studying the molecular and cellular “whys and hows” of biology. Three IMU scientists were awarded grants under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) from the Ministry of Education to do just that. Associate Professor Dr Leong Chee Onn will investigate the functional role of fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) in the development of refractory breast cancer, Associate Professor Dr Tan Eng Lai will study the biology of cancer stem cells, and Associate Professor Shar Mariam Mohamed will investigate the photoprotective mechanism of carrageenan, a seaweed carbohydrate compound, in human skin cells. With the inception of the IMU Centre for Cancer and Stem Cell Research in 2012, the Centre will firmly anchor in its core defining principles: to reduce or eliminate the adverse outcomes of cancer by leading an integrated effort to advance fundamental knowledge about cancer across a dynamic continuum of discovery, development, and delivery.

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