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Voelcker Fund awards $2.3 million to UT Health San Antonio researchers

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Author: William Sansom | Category: Around Campus | Faculty Spotlight | Cancer Biology | July 02, 2018

The Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund is giving $1.45 million to the university to support three innovative research projects and one pilot research project, all conducted by rising young faculty studying cancer and cardiovascular disease.

President Henrich also announced that the Voelcker Fund Board of Trustees has allocated $846,930 to continue the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy at UT Health San Antonio for four years through 2021. The academy is a two-year immersive summer experience for high school students ages 16 and older to learn about and conduct biomedical research in preparation for college and for careers in science and health care.

“UT Health San Antonio researchers seek cures for cancer, heart disease and myriad other conditions,” said Banks Smith, Voelcker Fund trustee. “We are pleased to support these quality research programs, along with the education of budding research scientists.”

The three new Voelcker Fund Young Investigator Awards will assist:

Myron Ignatius, Ph.D.

Dr. Myron Ignatius is an assistant professor of molecular medicine and member of the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, studying pathways and mechanisms by which tumor cells adapt to survive stress or treatments, causing cancer relapse. Dr. Ignatius is focusing on rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood muscle tumor.

April Risinger, Ph.D.

Dr. April Risinger is an assistant professor of pharmacology, studying the anticancer efficacy of microtubule targeting agents, especially the ability of these agents to alter signaling pathways associated with cancer initiation and tumor progression.

Carolina Solis-Herrera, M.D.

Dr. Carolina Solis Herrera is an asistant professor of medicine (Division of Diabetes) and member of the UT Health Physicians clinical practice, studying mechanisms to explain cardiovascular benefits observed in high-risk type 2 diabetes patients treated with a class of medication called a SGLT2 inhibitor.

A Voelcker Fund Pilot Research Award will support:

David Libich, Ph.D.

Dr. David Libich is an assistant professor of biochemistry and structural biology and member of the Greehey Institute, studying a heat shock protein as a novel target to induce apoptosis (programmed destruction) in tumor cells.

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