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BGU Researcher Awarded Grant from Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

BGU Researcher Awarded Grant from Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

August 1, 2010

Medical Research, Press Releases

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL – August 1, 2010 – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Professor Varda Shoshan-Barmatz has been awarded a three-year, $600,000 grant from the U.S. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to develop target-specific, anti-cancer drugs.

Professor Shoshan-Barmatz, the Hyman Kreitman Chair in Bioenergetics at BGU, has developed a peptide that targets and kills cancer cells while sparing normal cells. The drugs she will be developing target B-CLL (B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia), one of the most common and incurable hematological malignancies.

“Conventional chemotherapy is limited by its lack of specificity, multidrug resistance of tumor cells, and toxicity to normal cells,” says Shoshan-Barmatz. “The benefits to be gained by this new drug are enormous. These therapeutic peptides have a great potential as anti-cancer agents due to their target specificity and potential for reduced side-effects.”

Professor Varda Shoshan-Barmatz is also the director of the BGU National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev. 

Only 10 percent of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society grants have been awarded outside of the United States, and about one-third of the non-U.S. grants are awarded to Canada.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. LLS’s mission is to help find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.  It also strives to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from these illnesses and their families. First funded in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $680 million in research funding.  For more information, please visit www.leukemia-lymphoma.org.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications