October 5, 2000

American Cancer Society Awards Research Money

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With promising research applications for anti-cancer therapies, Margaret Bloch Qazi, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, was awarded a $96,000 three-year research grant by the American Cancer Society (ACS) this past spring.

This award supports the training of researchers who have recently received their doctorate, enabling them to qualify for an independent career in cancer research and is appropriately called the Postdoctoral Fellowship for Study and Training.

“I’m very excited about my research and [am] grateful to have gotten the fellowship,” said Bloch Qazi.

The research conducted by Bloch Qazi involves the “fundamental processes of biological systems.” She is studying proteins that are produced by glands in the male reproductive tracts of fruit flies that target cells to sites in the body. This provides possibilites for developing therapies to alleviate or cure cancer.

Bloch Qazi currently conducts her research in the laboratory of Prof. Mariana Wolfner, molecular biology and genetics.

“Dr. Wolfner has a great reputation for productive and excellent science. She has an outstanding lab,” said Bloch Qazi.

Ana Marengo, vice president of communications at the ACS, said that the society is interested in “finding new researchers and supporting them in the early years of their career.”

Marengo said that the process of earning a postdoctoral fellowship is very competitive. Researchers apply and present themselves and their work in front of a panel of representatives from the medical field.

“Only 11 percent of applications are funded,” said Marengo. “We want the most promising applications that best fit our goals.”

The Society annually selects only a few top-ranked fellows to receive this special three-year fellowship.

The research grant given to Bloch Qazi is part of the $100 million in funds that are awarded annually to researchers.

The ACS is the nation’s largest private non-profit source of cancer research funds for scientists studying this disease.

“The essence of our goal is to decrease mortality and the incidence of cancer,” said Marengo.

Archived article by Ritu Gupta