San Antonio Area Foundation awards $260,738 to HSC researchers

saaf 402 LetterheadThe San Antonio Area Foundation in May awarded 10 grants totaling $260,738 to Health Science Center researchers for studies of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, myasthenia gravis, a safer smallpox vaccine and other important topics.

The role of intercellular communication in lens development and formation of cataracts is one of the fascinating projects funded this year by the Foundation. A study of new molecular targets for Parkinson’s disease therapy also received support, along with a study focusing on how to make medications for eye diseases more effective.

For more than 40 years, the San Antonio Area Foundation, a publicly supported philanthropic institution, has been administering donors’ funds and granting gifts from those funds to worthy charitable causes that significantly enhance the quality of life in the communities they serve.

“We are grateful to the San Antonio Area Foundation and its generous donors for the support that has made research findings in many fields possible,” said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of the Health Science Center. “This year’s excellent group of projects is again indicative of the generosity of the Foundation and the creativity of our researchers.”

The 2006 projects funded by the San Antonio Area Foundation are as follows, with principal investigator, department and project name:

• Ande Bao, Ph.D., otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, “EFGR/VEGFR Targeted Tumor Diagnostic Imaging and Radionuclide Therapy”

• Randolph Glickman, Ph.D., ophthalmology, “Enhancement of Drug Penetration and Specificity in the Eye”

• Sumin Gu, M.D., biochemistry, “Role(s) of Connexins and Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Lens Development and Cataractogenesis”

• Joseph Harrison, Ph.D., ophthalmology, “Retinal and Optic Nerve Function in a Glutamine Transporter (mNAT2) Knockout Mouse”

• Syed Imam, Ph.D., medicine, “New Molecular Targets for Parkinson’s Disease Therapy”

• Robert Marciniak, M.D., medical oncology, “Akt Regulation of Telomerase in Prostate Cancer”

• Patricia Sanchez-Diaz, Ph.D., Children’s Cancer Research Institute, “Role of Musashi-1 in Medulloblastoma Formation”

• Sue Stacy, Ph.D., cellular and structural biology, “Effects of Aging on Immune Tolerance and Late-Onset Myasthenia Gravis”

• Ammanamanchi Sudhaker, Ph.D., medical oncology, “RON Tyrosine Kinase as a Novel Therapeutic Target”

• Yan Xiang, M.D., microbiology and immunology, “To Develop a Safer and More Immunogenic Smallpox Vaccine Candidate”

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