HSOP’s Vishnu Suppiramaniam Awarded AURIC Grant

Oct. 8, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Dr. Vishnu Suppiramaniam, associate professor and interim department head in Drug Discovery and Development, has been selected for one of five research grants from the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer (AURIC).

Based out of Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the program is funding the grants to six investigators through its Seed Grant program. Each grant is for one year and up to $20,000.

Suppiramaniam earned a grant for his study on Chemobrain: Molecular mechanisms of memory loss. According to his study, chemotherapeutic drugs are effective in the treatment of various types of tumors; however, they cause secondary effects including cognitive impairment, also known as “chemobrain” or “chemofog,” referring to a phenomenon in which cancer survivors exhibit cognitive impairment following chemotherapy treatment.

“Chemobrain is observed in more than 75% of cancer survivors exposed to chemotherapy, and persistent in 17-34% of cancer survivors,” Suppiramaniam. “The recently funded project by AURIC aims to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for cognitive impairment associated with chemobrain. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach including pharmacological, electrophysiological and behavioral methodologies, the project will also investigate the therapeutic potential of a novel selenium based compound in ameliorating the memory deficits caused by chemotherapy.”

AURIC was created to improve both human and animal health, foster an environment of excellence in cancer research, promote research that enhances competitiveness to advance the understanding of the biology of cancer, and foster the translation of novel technologies from the laboratory to the clinic.

AURIC embodies the “One Medicine” concept which links human, animal and environmental health, and where discoveries in one species advance health in all species. “AURIC is human medicine, animal medicine, research and diagnostics where faculty, students, and staff are working together to solve the complex puzzle of cancer,” said Dr. Bruce Smith, director of AURIC.

In 2013, more than 27,000 new cases of cancer are estimated to be diagnosed and more than 10,000 people are estimated to die of cancer in Alabama, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Fact and Figures, 2013.

“In addition to being ill with cancer or seeing relatives endure pain, many Alabamians have also watched a beloved pet suffer from this disease,” said Smith. “Animals and humans share many of the same cancers and what we learn in treating a tumor in a dog can teach us more about treating the same tumor in a person.”

For more information on AURIC, check out their website at www.auriconline.org.

----------

About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.

Last Updated: Dec. 11, 2014