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Heritage College ovarian cancer cell research project receives $12,000 from Baker Fund


(ATHENS, Ohio – Aug. 5, 2015) A research project investigating ovarian cancer cell activity conducted by an Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty member is one of six proposals that received more than $56,000 in total from the spring cycle of the university’s Baker Fund.

Fabian Benencia, Ph.D., an associate professor of immunology, has been awarded $12,000 for his project titled “Role of dsRNA Receptors in Immune Cell Infiltration on Ovarian Cancer.” Benencia has been investigating the relationship between immune cells and tumor cells for 12 years. His previous research found evidence showing that cancer cells attract immune cells and then subvert them, so that the body’s immune system doesn’t fight the cancer. Instead, it actually assists with tumor growth. The next step in Benencia’s research is understanding the mechanisms cancer cells use to attract immune cells.

“Understanding this will help us define future strategies to fight cancer,” said Benencia. “With the funding from this award, I can gather the additional data I need to apply for larger external grants.”

“The Baker Fund is a valuable resource, and we are thankful it exists to support faculty as they wrap up their projects,” said Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O., executive dean of the Heritage College.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. CARE LEADS HERE.

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Last updated: 01/28/2016