News & Events

 May 1, 2016

Graduate student Jomy Varghese awarded NCI Fellowship Grant

koJomy Varghese, a graduate student working in the Benoit Lab, was recently awarded an F30 Fellowship Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). His project is titled “Engineered Nanoparticles to Radioprotect Salivary Tissue” and deals with improving radiotherapy.

Project Description: Head and neck cancers comprise 6% of malignancies diagnoses annually, affecting 40,000 in the US and over 550,000 patients worldwide, who will then go on to receive radiotherapy. Radiation-induced xerostomia carries a significant risk for subsequent life threatening pathology and profoundly diminished quality of life by interfering with patients’ ability to eat and sleep. We propose novel nanoparticle platforms for radioprotection via localized, controlled delivery of siRNA and antioxidant strategies, which have the potential to prevent xerostomia altogether for our patients, and to improve radiotherapy significantly.