For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2003

Wright State School of Medicine's John J. Turchi, Ph.D., Receives
Idea Development Award for Ovarian Cancer Research

DAYTON, OHIO-The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded John J. Turchi, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Wright State University School of Medicine an Idea Development Award to perform ovarian cancer research.

The highly competitive award process granted $343,000 to Turchi's research, which will study the factors that contribute to a cancer becoming sensitive or resistant to drugs used to treat ovarian cancer. "Although some cellular factors that contribute to making a cell resistant to chemotherapy drugs have been identified, many still remain to be discovered," states Turchi. A major goal of his proposed research is to look for specific protein "fingerprints" that are indicative of sensitivity or resistance to the chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin. Knowing the factors that contribute to a cancer being sensitive or resistant and having the methods to determine if these factors are present or absent in a given tumor are tools that could be used in the clinical assessment to help physicians determine the best course of treatment for a specific cancer.

Ovarian cancer ranks second among gynecological cancers in the number of new cases, and first among gynecological cancers in the number of deaths each year, according to the Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP). Since 1997, the U. S. Army Medical Research and Material Command office has funded the OCRP, sponsoring research that will lead to better understanding and control of ovarian cancer while building the required supporting infrastructure. The OCRP has developed a multidisciplinary research portfolio that encompasses etiology, prevention, early detection/diagnosis, preclinical therapeutics, quality of life, and behavioral research projects with the vision of eliminating ovarian cancer.