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SWOSU Students Involved in Cancer Research
December 20, 2007
Six Southwestern Oklahoma State University students at Weatherford have received NASA Oklahoma Space Grant scholarships to perform cancer-related research.
They are: Henok Ermias a junior pharmacy major from Weatherford; Joel Kardokus, a Lookeba junior chemistry major; Abigail Ntreh, an Oklahoma City junior chemistry major; Antionette Smith, a Tulsa junior who is studying chemistry; David Supeck, a Jenks senior studying chemistry; and Cammi Valdez, an Enid senior chemistry major.
The students are working under the direction of Dr. William Kelly, professor and chair of the SWOSU Department of Chemistry & Physics. Kelly said the students are studying the rate of cellular respiration in cancer cells. They are working on measuring the amount of oxygen consumption by human ovarian cancer cells and normal human ovarian cells. The cells will be treated with the compound SHetA2 to produce cell death in cancerous cells while not affecting non-cancerous cells. The work is related to a new class of anti-cancer compounds—heteroarotinoids—which show high selectivity for cancer cells.
SWOSU is a member of the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium which provides scholarship funds for students in science and technology areas at member institutions. SWOSU matches these funds with an equivalent amount of its own. All scholarship awardees are required to volunteer 10 hours of their time to either the Stafford Air and Space Museum located in Weatherford or another appropriate community service organization.
Grant principle investigator is Madeline Baugher, faculty member in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Computer Systems.
Students may submit research proposals for a spring funding cycle until January 31, 2008. A description of the program and an application may be found at http://www.swosu.edu/academics/ace/compsci/nasa/grant.asp.