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Newark, DE — The Delaware Health Sciences Alliance (DHSA) has selected three teams of investigators for funding through its pilot grant program. The 18-month awards – for projects addressing hypertension, childhood cancer, and autism – started November 1, 2011.
A team led by Dr. A.J. Rajasekaran, Director, Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research, received a $75,000 award to study nanotechnology-based drug delivery for childhood leukemia.
While childhood cancer treatments have improved over the past several decades, with the five-year survival rate now approaching 80%, many survivors are left with chronic health conditions as the result of treatment, including cognitive and emotional issues, fertility problems, and secondary cancers.
This project is aimed at developing a nano-therapeutic mechanism to precisely deliver drugs to cancer cells, thereby minimizing the side effects that damage normal growing cells in children. Dr. Rajasekaran will collaborate with Xinqiao Jia (University of Delaware); Scott Waldman (Thomas Jefferson University); and Robert Witt (Christiana Care) on this project.
The DHSA was established in 2009 with four founding partners:
- Christiana Care Health System
- Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
- Thomas Jefferson University
- University of Delaware
The alliance allows partner organizations to collaborate and conduct leading-edge biomedical research, to improve the health of Delawareans, and to educate the next generation of health professionals.
Projects were selected based on scientific merit, the potential to lead to a larger proposal for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, and the ability of the research team, which must include one investigator from each member institution, to demonstrate successful collaboration among the four institutions.