Monday, February 24, 2020

Researcher awarded NIH supplemental grant

Antonio Ward, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, works in the lab. Ward has been awarded an NIH diversity supplemental grant to study the anti-cancer immunity benefits of targeting RAS in lung cancer.
Antonio Ward, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the Drug Discovery Research Center at USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, is the recipient of a supplemental grant award from the National Institutes of Health to promote diversity in health-related research.

Ward is working with Gary A. Piazza, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. He will test the effectiveness of an experimental RAS inhibitor, MCI-062, which was developed at the University of South Alabama. Ward will explore whether MCI-062 can combat lung cancer more effectively when combined with immunotherapy.

Ward holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a doctoral degree in environmental toxicology from Mississippi State University. He has worked as a postdoctoral student at MCI for more than three years during which he has focused his research on studying certain vulnerabilities of cancer cells with the goal of developing molecular targeted therapies to prevent or treat solid tumors such as colon, lung, pancreatic and breast cancers.

Originally developed at the University of South Alabama, MCI-062 is currently being developed by ADT Pharmaceuticals, based in Gulf Shores, in collaboration with Anchiano Therapeutics, based in Cambridge, Mass. and Jerusalem.

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