Faculty Member Receives Grant for Cancer Research
August 14, 2003

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ATLANTA—The National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute recently awarded an RO1 grant to Southern School of Pharmacy faculty member Diane Matesic for cancer research.

In her study, Matesic will investigate how certain, new anti-tumor compounds are able to increase gap junction-mediated cell-cell communication between tumor cells and inhibit their tumorigenic characteristics.

Unlike normal cells, most tumor cells lack the ability to communicate cellular signals with each other and with surrounding cells through gap junction membrane channels. Matesic will study how this cell-cell communication increases and how it prevents tumor cell growth after treatment with new anti-tumor compounds discovered by researchers in the School of Pharmacy. Her research will gain insight into the biochemical steps of tumorigenesis and may lead to a new class of therapeutic, anti-tumor drugs useful in cancer intervention and prevention.

Matesic came to the Southern School of Pharmacy in 1998 as an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences. Her research interests focus on cancer, cell-cell communication in the retina and cardiovascular cellular responses to anti-psychotic drugs.

Prior to joining the Mercer faculty, Matesic was an assistant professor and post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development in the Divisions of Endocrinology and Cancer Research at Michigan State University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1833, Mercer is a 7,300-student, comprehensive university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees through the College of Liberal Arts, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, the Tift College of Education, the School of Engineering, the Walter F. George School of Law, the School of Medicine, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the Southern School of Pharmacy, the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies.

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