Monday, May 21, 2007

Nevada Biotechnology & Biosciences Meeting: Using Proteins to Kill Cancer Cells

UNLV Biochemistry Professor, Dr. Bryan Spangelo spoke at the first meeting of the Nevada Biotechnology & Biosciences Consortium (NevBio) about his research on a specific protein that could be helpful to fight certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. The protein is part of thymosin fraction 5 (TF5) which is derived from the thymus gland.

Dr. Spangelo’s research indicates that a thymic hormone immune surveillance mechanism may suppress neuroendocrine and hematopoietic tumor formation. Thus, certain thymic peptides act to suppress leukemia as well as neuroendocrine tumor cell proliferation. The active peptide is small and may enhance apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. The isolation of the active component of TF5 that inhibits neuroendocrine and hematopoietic tumor cell proliferation will provide a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of these tumors.

Dr. Spangelo made his presentation on May 25th to the members of the Nevada Biotechnology and Biosciences Consortium, which is an organization dedicated to advancing life science research and promoting the biotechnology and life science-related industry in Nevada.

Dr. Jennifer Montague, Executive Director of the Consortium, said “Dr. Bryan Spangelo’s research is a perfect example of the exciting work being performed in the fields of biotechnology and science in Nevada, and which our organization will continue to highlight.”

Dr. Montague continued, “Our first meeting of NB2C had 27 attendees, including 8 Ph.D.s with representatives from the Nevada Cancer Institute, the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the University of Southern Nevada-School of Pharmacy, Cardiovascular BioTherapuetics, Inc. and the Regenerative Medicine Organization. We also had support from the Nevada Development Authority, the University of Nevada Health Science System and the economic agencies from Henderson, Las Vegas and the State of Nevada. The enthusiasm for a group such as this is summed up well by one of the attendees who stated, “We’ve all been doing our own thing. This is a great way for all the research groups to come together..”

The Nevada Biotechnology and Biosciences Consortium’s next meeting is June 21st (Third Thursday) at 12 PM noon at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant at 335 Howard Hughes Parkway. The speaker is Dr. Vance Gardner with the Orthopaedic Education and Research Institute of Southern California. He will discuss his research work for a Nevada-based biotech company, CardioVascular BioTherapeutics, Inc. This work involves studying the vascular status of the lumbar spine in patients with chronic low back pain. Dr. Gardner is using a 3.0 Tesla research scanner at the Irvine Center for Functional Onco Imaging to examine 50 subjects with chronic low back pain.

The Nevada Biotechnology and Biosciences Consortium is a non-profit, educational organization with the purpose of advancing life science research and the biotechnology industry in Nevada. The meetings are open to researchers, educators, students and public and private-sector health care professionals, as well as interested citizens. For more information on the meetings, please visit the website of Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience is or call Dr. Montague at (702) 869-8830.

No comments: