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Tufts Nets $6.6M DoD Breast Cancer Biomarkers Grant

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A research team at Tufts University has won a $6.6 million grant from the Department of Defense to use single molecule-based approaches to search for breast cancer biomarkers, Tufts said Monday.

The grant from DoD's Breast Cancer Research Program was awarded to Professor of Chemistry David Walt, a developer of microarrays, sequencing, and medical diagnostics technologies.

"Our hope is to detect cancer-relevant biomarkers that would enable breast cancer screening to convert from mammography to a simple blood test," Walt said in a statement. "Identification of such biomarkers would represent a major clinical advance."

The research team, which includes Tufts specialists in molecular oncology, stem cell and tissue regulation, and a microfluidics scientist at the University of Washington, plan to look for blood biomarkers that can be used to screen for breast cancer and help predict patient outcomes. They also plan to characterize breast cancer biopsy samples with single-cell resolution to enable development of more precise therapies.

The Innovator Award program, under which Walt won the grant, provides funding for individual investigators with a history of creative and innovative work in pursuit of high-risk ideas that could lead to the eradication of breast cancer.

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