HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Michael Wolf today presented a Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program, or CURE, grant to Carnegie Mellon University. The $983,783 grant will be used for a two-year research project focused on cancer treatment technologies.
The CURE program funds health research with the purpose of discovering new scientific knowledge to help improve the health of all Pennsylvanians.
These competitive grants focus on specific research priorities established and reviewed by the Department of Health in conjunction with the Health Research Advisory Committee, a panel made up of universities and research institutes.
The funds, allocated in the 2011-12 fiscal year, focus on projects that translate the information found within the human genome. The grants support research that commercializes and brings to market new, proven cancer diagnostics or therapeutics.
The award was presented to principal investigator, Robert F. Murphy, Ph.D., on behalf of Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with Omnyx, Inc. and the University of Pittsburgh for their project, "Automated Biomarker Identification for Cancer Detection and Prognosis."
The project's purpose is to expand the image analysis capabilities of the Omnyx digital pathology platform and to carry out translational research studies that will improve evaluation of patients.
"Physicians treating prostate cancer and pediatric liver cancer tell us that they have few, if any, tools to help them differentiate between tumors that demand aggressive treatment and those that don't pose an immediate threat to patient survival," said Dr. Murphy, who is director of Carnegie Mellon's Lane Center for Computational Biology. "We expect to show that automated image analysis technology can be used to detect certain subcellular changes that could help physicians identify dangerous tumors and determine the best ways to treat them."
There are 12 CURE grant recipients receiving awards totaling $15.3 million. Since the grant program's inception, Carnegie Mellon University has received nearly $14 million in CURE funding, part of the more than $750 million in total CURE awards.
"The Department of Health believes in the proposals submitted and that the research will help improve public health and maintain Pennsylvania's internationally recognized leadership in clinical and health services research," said Wolf.
Find more information about the CURE program at the Department of Health's website at www.health.state.pa.us/cure.
Media contact: Kait Gillis, 717-787-1783
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health