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MEDIA CONTACT: Gisele Galoustian
561-297-2010, ggaloust@fau.edu

FAU Receives $500,000 from the Florida Department of Health for Cancer Research

FAU Project Selected by the Florida Biomedical Research Advisory Council

BOCA RATON, FL (January 18, 2007) – Florida Atlantic University researcher Dr. Yoshimi Shibata, associate professor of biomedical science in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, has received a Bankhead-Coley Biomedical Research grant for $500,000 from the Florida Department of Health for cancer research. Shibata’s project titled, “High-Speed Cell Isolation by FACS in FAU Cancer Research” was selected by the Florida Biomedical Research Advisory Council.

“This award demonstrates the high visibility and the excellence of the research being done by Dr. Shibata and other faculty of the new Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, as well as the wisdom and foresight of the Schmidt Family Foundation in their support of biomedical research and education at FAU,” said Dr. Michael Friedland, dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science.

A Florescence Activated Cell Sorter™ or FACS is a powerful research tool for studying cancer and characterizing many different forms of human cancers. Using FACS, researchers can measure physical characteristics such as cell size, shape and internal complexity. Used in the biological and medical fields, this instrument also enables physicians to determine how well a cancer may respond to a particular therapy.

“In our cancer research, we study multiple parameter analyses of cancer cells and host cells,” said Shibata. “FACS is imperative for our research needs so that we can isolate single cell populations expressing selected parameters. These isolated cells will be further utilized for in vitro and in vivo studies to determine their roles in cancer pathogenesis and in the ultimate development of a cure for cancer. In addition, with this tool it only takes a few hours to isolate selected cells with 99 percent purity with high accuracy, sensitivity and consistency.”

This grant will be shared with cancer researchers in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science which include Dr. Vijaya Iragavarapu-Charyulu, assistant professor;    Dr. Michael Lu, associate professor; Dr. Howard Prentice, associate professor; Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj, professor; and Dr. James Hartmann, professor. This grant will also help to organize and develop ongoing collaborative research projects with FAU faculty and students as well as external collaborators. Among Shibata’s collaborators is Dr. Herbert Weissbach, director of the Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and Distinguished Research Professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU’s Cancer Research Program promotes cancer research activities which span basic research, drug discovery and delivery, early diagnosis, genetics and vaccine-based approaches.

            “The availability of a FACS facility at FAU will advance and revolutionize our cancer research programs here,” said Dr. Larry F. Lemanski, vice president for research at FAU. “This state-of-the-art research tool is unique in accomplishing cell isolation with high efficiency and will enable us to promote and accelerate our ongoing research projects in the biomedical sciences.”

            Shibata received his Ph.D. in cancer immunology from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and his post-doctoral degree in hematopathology from East Carolina University Medical School in Greenville, North Carolina. He has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals to his credit.

- FAU -

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts nine colleges:  the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Barry Kaye College of Business and the Colleges of  Education, Engineering & Computer Science, and Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs.

           

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