Research buzz: 'Provocative questions' about cancer to be answered?
Peter Searson (Courtesy of Johns Hopkins, Baltimore Sun / November 8, 2010)
Researchers: Dr. Cynthia Sears, a professor of medicine and oncology who specializes in infectious disease, and Peter Searson, a materials science and engineering professor who is director of Hopkins' Institute for NanoBio Technology.
Stage of research: Sears will receive $236,480 this year to explore the ways common diarrheal bacteria and other microbes can cause colon cancer. Searson will receive $316,513 to find a new method of exploring the ways cancer spreads through metastasis, creating a way for scientists to artificially duplicate what happens when cancer spreads.
Implications: Sears says the infectious-disease research could help doctors better prevent and detect early stages of colon cancer. Searson's new method could help researchers more easily explore the biology of how tumor cells spread.