UDC News

August 24, 2010


UDC Students Make Significant Contributions to Prostate Cancer Research

Washington, DC - Five UDC undergraduates spent summer 2010 doing research to improve the prognosis of prostate cancer - the number one non-skin cancer affecting US men, and the number two cancer killer of men. Mentored by researchers at the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) at the Uniformed Services University Health Sciences campus in Bethesda, Maryland, the students presented their results at a symposium on August 18, 2010. In some cases, the students' results represent significant, unanticipated discoveries with potential benefits for the diagnosis or treatment of prostate cancer. "We are doing this for the cancer patients," said Dr. Shiv Srivastava (CPDR), co-Director of the research program with UDC biology chairperson, Dr. Deepak Kumar. At CPDR, the program was coordinated by Dr. Taduru Sreenath.

"I learned a lot, a lot, a lot about research," said junior biology/nursing major, Zainab Afzal, a sentiment echoed by the others. The HBCU Summer Undergraduate Training Program in Prostate Cancer Research is funded by a grant from the Department of Defense to Drs. Srivastava (CPDR) and Kumar (UDC). The students look forward to presenting their research at major national conferences in the fall.

The UDC students worked on the following topics, using state-of-the-art techniques, including immunofluorescence microscopy, gain and loss of function studies utilizing adenovirus and siRNA based approaches, analyzing signaling proteins by Western Blotting and immunohistochemistry.

Ms. Zainab Afzal (Junior Biology and Nursing Major): Shadowing Patients with Prostate Cancer (mentor: Dr. Jane Hudak)
Mr. Habib Kedir (Junior Biology and Chemistry Major): Urine Based Prostate Cancer (mentor: Dr. Gyorgy Petrovics)
Diagnostic Assay Development Ms. Juliet Chijioke (Junior Biology Major): Regulation of Androgen Receptor Levels through the PMEPA1-NEDD4-1 Feedback Loop (mentor: Dr. Shyh-Han Tan)
Ms. Christelle Donfack (Junior Biology Major): Characterization of ERG Protein in Prostate Cancer and other Tumor Cell Lines (mentor: Dr. Ahmed Mohamed)
Ms. Nicola Abdul(Sophomore Nursing Major): TMPRSS2-Ets Related Gene Fusions in Mouse Model for Prostate Cancer (mentor: Dr. Taduru Sreenath)

According to the National Cancer Institute, about 218,000 American men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, and prostate cancer will result in 32,000 deaths in 2010. African American men have a 60% higher incidence rate and twice the death rate from prostate cancer, compared with white men.






As the only urban land-grant institution in the country, the University System of the District of Columbia (www.udc.edu) supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the University of the District of Columbia (David A. Clarke School of Law, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College Arts & Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) and the Community College of the District of Columbia.

Contact: Alan Etter, Vice President of University Relations & Public Affairs, aetter@udc.edu, 202.345.6371