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Washington University Molecular Imaging Center Wins $7.1M Grant

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Molecular Imaging Center at Washington University's School of Medicine has been awarded a $7.1 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to fund new imaging-based cancer research studies.

This third round of NCI funding at the center will support an array of studies and development of new techniques, such as methods that enable scientists to tag cells and proteins of interest with labels that enable their movements and activities to be tracked throughout the body.

The MIRC houses three cores, including a high-throughput core, a molecular imaging reporter core, and a molecular imaging chemistry core.

The center also collaborates with WUSTL's Bridging Research With Imaging, Genomics, and High-Throughput Technologies (BRIGHT) Institute, which provides a centralized location for interdisciplinary efforts that combine molecular imaging, functional genomics, and high-throughput technologies for basic and translational research projects.

"BRIGHT is helping a larger group of scientists put the Molecular Imaging Center's innovative techniques to use in advancing their research," MIRC Director and WUSTL Professor David Piwnica-Worms, said in a statement.

"We have a range of new tools and approaches that can help assess and analyze the many changes that underlie the development of cancer. We have ways of accelerating these studies to help scientists develop new treatments much more quickly," he added.

Other studies at the MIRC include efforts to identify potential pharmaceutical treatments that prevent a cancer-related protein called Notch from helping cancers grow, to understand connections between stress, cancer, and a gene that regulates cells' life cycles, and to identify and study tumors in their early stages by enabling researchers to see when a cancer-causing gene becomes active.

The center also supports educational activities, such as fellowships and seminars.

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