Thursday, July 18, 2013

OVC Professor Gets Grant for Prostate Cancer Research

Cancer researchers Geoff Wood, left, and Byram Bridle

GUELPH, Ontario - July 17, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - A University of Guelph professor working to understand how cancers become resistant to therapy has received $200,000 from Prostate Cancer Canada. The support for Prof. Geoffrey Wood’s work comes from the Movember Discovery Grant program, aimed at scientists on the verge of early-stage research breakthroughs.

Wood was among 40 grant recipients announced today.

“As a young investigator, this Movember funding comes at a critical time for me,” said Wood, an anatomic pathologist and professor in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

“Without it, I really would have to consider whether I could continue to conduct prostate cancer research down the road or focus on other projects instead.”

The Movember grant program supports early-stage scientists and more established investigators pursuing new directions and innovations. The two-year funding supports a broad range of research initiatives, from basic biological science to population health.

Wood’s research team uses a genetically engineered mouse model of prostate cancer to explore the relationship between inflammation and hormone signalling.

“The ultimate goal of my research is to determine how treatment-induced inflammation affects the way prostate cancer becomes resistant to treatment over time,” he said.

Wood earned his DVM from OVC and worked in a mixed animal practice for a year before pursuing a PhD in cancer biology at the University of Toronto. He returned to Guelph to complete a D.V.Sc. in pathology with a sub-specialty in laboratory animal pathology.

Before joining the U of G faculty, Wood was a research associate at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Princess Margaret Hospital and associate director of pathology at the Centre for Modelling Human Disease in the Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics.

The Movember grant program carries the same name as the annual international “Movember” initiative. During the month-long event -- held in 21 countries in November – men are encouraged to grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer.

Worldwide, more than $300 million has been raised since the event began in 2004. In Canada, funds support initiatives such as the Movember grant program.

Rocco Rossi, Prostate Canada’s president and CEO, said funding applications increased by 23 per cent in the past year and came from more regions across the country.

“What is particularly remarkable about the grant recipients this year is the breadth of topics covered,” he said.