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Higuchi Biosciences Center announces the 2018 J.R. and Inez Jay Fund research awards

Monday, June 25, 2018

LAWRENCE — Two projects were selected this year to receive the 2018 J.R. and Inez Jay Fund research award at the University of Kansas. The two projects will be conducted by faculty in the Department of Molecular Biosciences.

The first proposal selected, titled “Blocking Quorum Sensing to Potentiate Antibiotics in Pseudomonas aeruginosa,” was submitted by Josephine Chandler, assistant professor of molecular biosciences. She will collaborate on this research project with Berl Oakley, Irving S. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology, and Ajai Dandekar, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The project will focus on studying quorum-sensing inhibitors and their potential for increasing the efficacy of antibiotics when treating infections, and researchers will try to identify new quorum-sensing inhibitors better suited to this purpose.

The second project selected was submitted by Kristi Neufeld, Frank B. Tyler Professor of Cancer Research. The project, titled “Novel Function of APC Tumor Suppressor in DNA Topoisomerase II-mediated Cell Cycle Checkpoint,” will be conducted in collaboration with Yoshiaki Azuma, also professor of molecular biosciences. Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), which is found in the human colon, plays a critical role in cellular growth and division. A vast majority of colorectal cancers start with defective APC. The objective of this study is to collect data analyzing APC binding with two other proteins to expand the analysis of the ACP domain and its possible implication in colorectal cancers.

The J.R. and Inez Jay Research Fund was established in 1977 through an estate gift to KU Endowment from Inez W. Jay.  Her late husband, John R. Jay, was a pharmacist in Wichita.

The purpose of the Jay Fund is to stimulate interdisciplinary, biomedical research activities in pursuit of large external grants such as multi-investigator R01 awards, program projects and center grants awarded under the tutelage of the Higuchi Biosciences Center. All biomedical scientists holding principal investigator status at KU are eligible to apply for one of these awards. The emphasis of the awards is strongly on interdisciplinary, collaborative research efforts. Recipients are selected by members of the Higuchi Biosciences Center internal advisory committee.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.


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