by Pearlie M. Bowser
Albany State University is fighting back against prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer death among men according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
ASU associate professor of chemistry and researcher, Dr. Amir Saheb, in collaboration with Georgia Tech principal research scientist Dr. Mira Josowicz has developed a new device and methodology for detecting a chemical linked to prostate cancer. The device could be crucial in the disease’s prevention.
“By developing new technology that can screen for prostate cancer efficiently and at a low cost, this will benefit the southwest Georgia region as its ultimate use will be in the field – in physician’s office, in home diagnostic screening or in geographically remote areas – and will allow for quick detection of prostate cancer DNA biomarkers,” Saheb said.
Over the next five years, Saheb’s plans call for the development of a small, thumb-size, USB-based device for prostate cancer detection. If successful, this new tool, which would be the first of its kind, could provide a reliable test at a cost of less than $20.
“Our device would be able to detect genomic DNA in a few minutes for under $20, whereas, genetic tests usually cost thousands of dollars and take hours to perform,” he added.
Saheb’s work is funded by the National Institutes of Health’s Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions project or RIMI. It is part of a 10 year, $9 million initiative to build biotechnology and biomedical research capacity at Albany State University. The ASU RIMI project is active in promoting research in the southwest Georgia area, especially in the areas of minority health and health disparities.
Current research at the university includes projects for prostate cancer screening and detection, breast cancer control and treatment, obesity prevention, nanoparticle drug delivery for sexually transmitted diseases and pancreatic cancer drug delivery mechanisms.