SEAS professor inks $5.3 million research agreement to study cancer treatment

An engineering professor will receive $5.3 million to study an emerging cancer treatment in the largest corporate research funding agreement in University history, according to a release Monday.

The research sponsorship is part of an agreement with U.S. Patent Innovations, a Maryland-based patent company.
Michael Keidar, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is working to develop biomedical applications for cold plasma technology used to treat cancer patients. This type of treatment focuses on targeting cancer cells without harming noncancerous biological tissue, according to the release.

Keidar is working with Jerome Canady, chief science officer of Jerome Canady Research Institute for Advanced and Technological Sciences and chairman of the USPI board of managers. The pair plan to study how this new treatment could help patients with breast, gastrointestinal, colorectal, ovarian, cervical, lung and skin cancers, the release states.

Keidar said the grant will “allow us to move more aggressively” toward understanding how the treatment works and it’s potential future commercial application.

“This partnership will accelerate the translational part and bring devices to clinical use much faster than they would otherwise,” he said in the release.

Keidar added that the “self-adaptive” nature of this form of treatment will reduce the need for human intervention during the cancer treatment process.

“This is what makes plasma extremely unique, and this entire effort is geared toward that particular idea,” he said.

Officials touted the project as an example of the broad “real-world” implications of research at SEAS. David Dolling, the school’s dean, said the grant will allow the school to expand its research efforts dramatically, particularly in the field of cancer research.

“Securing this major award is validation of the expertise of our faculty and a milestone in establishing the school as pre-eminent in research,” Dolling said in the release.

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