Prostate cancer researcher gets NIH grantCourier-Post
August 10, 2001
By GENE VERNACCHIO, Courier-Post Staff
GLASSBORO--The National Institutes of Health has given a Cherry Hill woman a $140,000, three-year grant to conduct prostate cancer research at Rowan University.
Dr. Catherine Yang, an associate professor of chemistry, is the first Rowan professor to receive a grant from the organization.
The NIH is the federal government's principal biomedical research arm.
"It's a great honor to receive a grant from such a prestigious funding agency for health-related issues," said Yang, who will begin her research this summer with four students. "This grant will enable us to do more detailed research into PSA, the most abundant protein secreted from prostatic tissues in patients with prostate cancer."
Yang's research on PSA will try to find ways to detect and treat prostate cancer. Her student assistants are Matt Abad of Atco, Patricia Jackson of Sewell, Stacey Lavender of Bellmawr and Dai Tran of Pennsauken.
Over the past decade, prostate cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men. It's the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States.
"I'm extremely proud of Dr. Yang," said Dr. Jay Harper, dean of Rowan's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "And her particular grant will allow students to work on cutting- edge biochemistry and related cancer research.
"This is ... something all middle-aged men, like myself, should be interested in," Harper said. "This will ultimately lead to earlier detection methods and, perhaps, even better treatment."
Harper also said the university is building its biochemistry programs. He hopes to bring in more faculty members to conduct further research in this area.
Yang has taught at Rowan since 1995. She earned her doctorate and master's degrees from Tufts University. She's also done some postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School.
Some facts about prostate cancer:
-- In 2000, more cases of prostate cancer (about 200,000) were found in American men than lung cancer (91,400) and colorectal cancer (64,000) combined.
-- The incidence of prostate cancer is roughly equivalent to the incidence of breast cancer in women (178,000).
-- One in every six American men will be diagnosed with clinically detectable prostate cancer.