UNT chemistry professor receives CPRIT grant to analyze cancer cells

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 12:01
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DENTON (UNT), Texas -- University of North Texas Associate Professor of chemistry Guido Verbeck has received a nearly $200,000 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to analyze metabolites, the products of metabolism, in cancer cells.

Verbeck's work will help researchers determine differences in the metabolism of cancerous and non-cancerous cells. Learning the differences in how cancerous and non-cancerous cells metabolize will help researchers develop treatments and possibly cures.

"When you look at a cancerous tumor as a whole, you will have a mix of healthy and cancerous cells," Verbeck said. "The idea here is to use our Nanomanipulator device to look at this at the single-cell level, and to compare the cells to see what differences exist in their chemistry."

Verbeck invented the Nanomanipulator device in 2006 that he will use to examine the cells. Currently, Verbeck's Imaging and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at the University of North Texas is the only research facility with a nanomanipulator.

The device is based on a manipulation system for nanoprobing in scanning electron microscopes, and can be used in a variety of forensic and biological applications. The technology could help doctors analyze cells on a patient-by-patient basis, which would help to rapidly screen patients and develop specialized therapy options.

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