Wells Fargo has awarded a two-year, $50,000 translational research award to a team of 10 research scientists from the UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center and Sandia National Laboratories.

An invitation-only reception on July 9 at the UNM Cancer Center will recognize Wells Fargo for the contribution and celebrate the presentation of the funds to the research team.

Translational research focuses on finding new scientific discoveries and turning them into therapies or drugs that can be used in a clinical setting on cancer patients for prevention, diagnosis or treatments.

The project is a multi-institutional collaboration to develop new drug technologies using sophisticated structural biology and high performance computing.

UNM team participants are: Laurel Sillerud, Ph.D., co-principal Investigator and an internationally recognized leader in biomedical nuclear magnetic resonance; Richard S. Larson, M.D., Ph.D., co-principal Investigator and an expert in cell adhesion biology and its application to clinical trials; Eric Burks, an M.D./Ph.D. student specializing in computational modeling of drugs and in vitro studies; Debbie Gurule, BS, who conducts drug testing in mice, and Evangelos Coutsias, Ph.D., a professor of Mathematics and Statistics who works with algorithm development for prediction of best drugs.

Sandia National Laboratories team members are: Mark Daniel Rintoul III, Ph.D., Sandia team leader and expert in computer-aided molecular classification; Mark P. Sears, Ph.D., who specializes in computational materials and molecular biology; Carla Churchwell, M.A., who works with computer modeling of molecules; Jean-Loup M. Faulon, Ph.D., who develops software programs for drug structure prediction and Shawn B. Martin, Ph.D., an expert in algorithm development.

Wells Fargo President and CEO Larry D. Willard explained the bank's commitment to the project. "We have decided to fund award this exciting research program as it has tremendous economic implications for the state of New Mexico. It combines the best scientific research at the University of New Mexico with high performance computing capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories. This pilot project could be a model for many programs in the future. We are delighted to be involved."

The UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center, founded in 1972, is the only health care facility in the state dedicated to both cancer research and patient care.
Contact: Lynn Melton, 272-3322