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Toward A Cure

by on March 27, 2014 10:03 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State breast cancer researcher Dr. Yanming Wang was presented with a $50,000 grant by the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Thursday for his search for a cure for breast cancer. The grant is part of the PBCC’s “Refunds for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research” campaign, which assists scientists across the state.

Wang and his team of researchers at the Eberly College of Science are testing a new drug target that has not previously been on the radar screen for cancer treatment. The grant will be used to turn lab discoveries into a drug development research program.

Held in the Frear Building lobby, the presentation featured president and founder of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Pat Halpin-Murphy, and Penn State’s acting director of the department of biochemistry and microbiology, Dr. Richard Frisque.

Since 1997, nearly $3 million has been donated to the “Refunds for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research” campaign and 77 grants have been awarded to Pennsylvania scientists looking for the cause and cure for breast cancer, according to the PBCC. The campaign is in its 17th year.

Halpin-Murphy congratulated Wang and said the goal of the PBCC is to “help find a cure for breast cancer now, so our daughters don’t have to.”

It’s important that the grant, she said, involve all citizens of Pennsylvania.

“There’s hardly a family in the Commonwealth that hasn’t been touched by breast cancer,” Halpin-Murphy said.

Every Pennsylvania resident has the opportunity to contribute to the grant by filling in the amount they choose to donate on line 32 of the PA-40 tax form, she said. They may donate all or part of their refund directly to breast cancer research.

“So far, thousands and thousands of Pennsylvanians have done that,” she said. “Every penny goes to researchers in the state.”

Areas of research supported by the grant vary widely, Halpin-Murphy said, but the main goal is to find agents that will move the process forward to ultimately find a cure for breast cancer.

Wang, who also took some time to address the crowd, thanked the PBCC and said the grant is “much needed … to carry on breast cancer research.”

Breast cancer is a “major threat,” he said, as well as a “burden” for families affected by it. He encourages all residents to continue their support of breast cancer research.

Wang said money from the grant will be used to move his team’s efforts into the next stage.

There are many moving parts to his work, he said, including his team members, who play a large role.

“Our goals cannot be achieved without … support of colleagues and their collaborations,” he said.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. For more information visit

Staff Writer at The Centre County Gazette
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