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From the College of Natural Sciences
Fight Cancer, She Must

Fight Cancer, She Must

Robed in tie-dye lab coat, graduate student Norah Ashoura meticulously guides her pipette while explaining what Star Wars has to do with the innovative research into cancer treatments coming from the George Georgiou lab group.

Image and video credits: Christian Benavides
12 UT Austin-Linked Developments in the Fight Against Cancer

12 UT Austin-Linked Developments in the Fight Against Cancer

Earlier this year, the nation launched what's been called the Cancer Moonshot initiative—a monumental new effort to boost cancer research in pursuit of a cure. In the months leading up to this new initiative—and in the months since—faculty scientists, alumni and students brought many causes for hope to the fight against cancer.

Enzyme Safely Starves Cancer Cells in Preclinical Study

Enzyme Safely Starves Cancer Cells in Preclinical Study

A research team led by scientists at The University of Texas Austin has engineered an enzyme that safely treats prostate and breast cancer in animals and also lengthens the lifespan of models that develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The new treatment and results from preclinical trials are described in a paper published in the Nov. 21 issue of Nature Medicine.

DNA Repair Findings Shed Light on Pathways Affecting Cancer Progression

DNA Repair Findings Shed Light on Pathways Affecting Cancer Progression

For healthy cells to become cancerous cells, they have to lose several systems that regulate healthy function such as cell growth and division and DNA repair. New findings from University of Texas at Austin researchers about how one such regulatory system works could aid in efforts to develop personalized treatments for cancer.

Chemist Receives CPRIT Award for Tool to Recognize Thyroid Cancer

Chemist Receives CPRIT Award for Tool to Recognize Thyroid Cancer

Image credited to L'Oréal USA For Women In Science video

The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) awarded an Early Translational Research grant to chemist Livia Eberlin, for the development of a new tool to accurately recognize thyroid cancer. The new tool, utilizing a technology called ambient ionization mass spectrometry, looks for patterns in the abundance of metabolites, or end products of biological processes, to rapidly determine whether cancer is present in a sample.

Sessler Awarded UT Inventor of the Year

Sessler Awarded UT Inventor of the Year

Professor of chemistry Jonathan Sessler has been named the 2016 UT Inventor of the Year for his prodigious work that contributed to groundbreaking new pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and a successful company, sold last year for billions of dollars.

Cancer-Fighting Alum and Faculty Make Key Strides for Patients

Cancer-Fighting Alum and Faculty Make Key Strides for Patients

Department of Molecular Biosciences Chair Dan Leahy recounted recently the scientific back-story behind one game-changing discovery – and the role that alumna Gail Dianne Lewis (BS, Microbiology, '78) played in it. Leahy, himself a cancer researcher, was speaking about the aggressive form of breast cancer known as "HER2-positive" cance...
New Faculty, New Technology to Strengthen Disease Research at UT Austin

New Faculty, New Technology to Strengthen Disease Research at UT Austin

Update, October 2020: The 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to two researchers, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, "for the development of a method for genome editing." The two scientists discovered CRISPR-Cas9, genetic scissors which are based on a natural defense mechanism bacteria use against viruses, and showed that the tool can be used to precisely edit any DNA. Doudna was an advisor to David Taylor, featured in the piece below, while he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

Update, October 2017: ​The 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to three researchers who developed cryo-electron microscopy, a method that allows biochemists to "freeze biomolecules mid-movement and visualize processes they have never previously seen." This fall, UT Austin has opened its own cryo-EM facility, where researchers are beginning to explore new insights into the chemistry of life. Read on to learn about one of the faculty members involved with the new Sauer Laboratory for Structural Biology, and work planned within the College of Natural Sciences. 

Students Develop Apps to Help Detect Skin Cancer

Students Develop Apps to Help Detect Skin Cancer

​Rachel Graubard and Vatsal Shah, both alumni of the Freshman Research Initiative's DIY Diagnostics stream, have created two apps which could help patients detect skin cancer at home. 

Award from Cancer Agency Supports Bringing Researcher to UT Austin

Award from Cancer Agency Supports Bringing Researcher to UT Austin

A $6 million award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) will underwrite The University of Texas at Austin's hiring of a leading cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to serve as chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences.