Monday, May 18, 2009

Renowned Cancer Expert, University of Albany Professor JoEllen Welsh Discusses Impact of Nutrition on Cancer Development

Renowned breast cancer expert and University at Albany Empire Innovations Professor JoEllen Welsh will discuss the biological connections between diet, nutrition and cancer at the first Hogarty Family Foundation Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at the UAlbany Cancer Research Center's Massry Conference Center. With the lecture, the Cancer Research Center (CRC) will launch the inaugural series, which will be open to the public and cover cancer, genomics, research and treatment.

The lecture series is supported by an endowed fund established through the generosity of Daniel J. Hogarty and the Hogarty Family Foundation. The Hogarty family's philanthropic efforts have previously included contributions to CRC's Fund for Memory and Hope, which helps equip the Center with advanced technology and supports cutting-edge research.

"UAlbany's Cancer Research Center has brought nationally recognized cancer researchers to Albany, raising awareness about research and treatments among residents in the Capital Region," said Hogarty. "It is our hope that this lecture series will arm people with the best information to help fight this disease."

"We all know someone who has been affected by cancer," said Interim President George M. Philip. "We are grateful for the continuous support of Dan Hogarty, whose generosity is extremely important in research efforts to discover the genetic origins of cancer with the goal of finding a cure.”

"One of our goals at the Cancer Research Center is to develop nutritional strategies to prevent cancer development," said Welsh. "I am privileged to participate in this series and share some of the research we've conducted to help fight the disease.”

Research suggests that about one-third of all cancer deaths appear to be related to what we eat. Scientists are beginning to understand how diet and nutritional status impact on cancer development, and how the right choices can reduce risk of many types of cancer. During the inaugural lecture, Welsh will review the current dietary recommendations for reducing cancer risk.

Welsh, an expert in steroid hormones, nuclear receptors and breast cancer, is internationally recognized as the prominent researcher in the role of Vitamin D in breast cancer prevention and treatment. She has been funded for her research on Vitamin D through the National Institutes of Health since 1985, and currently holds two NIH grants. Her research has been published in Endocrinology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and the Journal of Nutrition.

UAlbany scientists have been at the forefront of cancer research, studying the genetic origins, prevention and treatment methods of cancer and cancer-related diseases with the hope of finding a cure. Researcher Doug Conklin previously received nearly a half million dollars and won an Idea Award from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (DOD BCRP) for his novel concept in breast cancer research, "Functional Genomic Analysis of Breast Cancer Cell Tumorigenicity Using a Novel Gene Silencing Resource." Researcher Tom Begley was previously awarded $2.2 million by the National Institutes for research on molecular pathways activated by cancer-causing agents such as cigarette smoke and pesticides.

The Cancer Research Center is located on the University at Albany's East Campus, the biotech hub of the University's life sciences research endeavor and a mixed-purpose facility with a dynamic environment for synthesizing the University's educational, scientific, and economic development capabilities with industry and other research institutions. The 87-acre complex is anchored by the University's School of Public Health, and offers more than 350,000 square feet of lab space and associated support and office space.

Courtesy: UAlbany News

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