Indian-origin scientist gets US funding for cancer research

Victoria (Australia), Oct 15 (IANS) An Indian-origin scientist researching in the field of cancer will be receiving a $17 million fund from the US medical science funding body, said an official statement Tuesday.

Suresh Mathivanan, who works at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia, is the only institution outside America to take part in research of and receive funds from the US National Institute of Health (NIH).

Mathivanan is from Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, and heads a team of ten biochemistry researchers. He will take part in a programme which aims to advance critical research into a recently discovered way by which cells in our body communicate with each other via Ribonucleic acid (RNA), the single strand cousin of DNA.

The programme comprises a consortium of more than 30 universities involved in 24 research projects and will probe the next frontier in the search to diagnose and treat diseases including cancer.

"The special form of RNA being studied in the NIH project - known as extracellular RNA or exRNA - travels around the body in little packages called exosomes, and plays an important role in the way cells regulate and express genes. One potential application of these exosomes is in targeted gene delivery to treat cancer," said Mathivanan.

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