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Elizabeth Gurysh, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Gurysh, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Gurysh, Ph.D., received a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health to support her brain cancer research.

Gurysh is a postdoctoral researcher working in the lab of Kristy Ainslie, Ph.D., at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Ainslie is an associate professor in the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Gurysh is researching a combination therapy of stem cells and drug-eluting scaffolds to prevent recurrence of glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer.

Glioblastoma is usually treated with surgery followed by radiation or chemotherapy. However, due to glioblastoma’s tentacle-like growth, it is extremely difficult to remove completely, and often recurs. It has a mortality rate of almost 100 percent.

Gurysh’s proposal will use a combination of tumor-killing stem cells and acetalated dextran scaffolds for drug delivery, with the aim of preventing recurrence of glioblastoma.

“New therapies are needed to improve the quality of care for glioblastoma patients and reduce the mortality of this aggressive cancer,” Gurysh said. “If successful, this therapy could be applied to cancer models where resection is the standard of care, such as breast or lung, as well as tumors that metastasize to the brain.”

The F32 grant from the NIH is for two years and a total of just under $130,000. The purpose of the postdoctoral award is to enhance the research training of promising postdoctoral candidates who have the potential to become productive, independent investigators.

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