Wertheim UF Scripps Institute researchers make major advance with cancer-killing antibody-drug conjugates

Scientists at The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology have spent years developing antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, that combine a protective protein and a cancer-killing drug. Findings published recently in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry detail the first time a particular type of cancer-killing “payload” has been used for ADC development. The laboratory findings in leukemia cells are a key step in creating new medicinal payloads that can be altered and translated into ADCs to treat different types of cancer, the researchers said.

A schematic of antibody drug conjugates.

UF chemists advance a new frontier in drug design

A team of UF researchers has advanced our understanding of protective layers on cells — a microscopic discovery with large potential for future drug design. The team, including Matthew Eddy, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of chemistry, published its findings in the leading scientific journal Nature Communications. The findings pave the way for developing new therapeutic strategies associated with pathological conditions like inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer with the aim to advance drug design.


UF study provides insight into the role of myeloid cells in glioma progression

Research from the University of Florida Health Cancer Center sheds light on the complex interactions between cancer cells and the immune system. Gregory Takacs, a Ph.D. candidate in the biomedical sciences program at the University Florida with a cancer biology concentration, led the study under the guidance of mentor Jeffrey K. Harrison, Ph.D., a professor in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics in the UF College of Medicine.


UF study finds disparities in cancer genetic testing

A study led by UF Health Cancer Center researchers found that Black and Hispanic adults had less knowledge and were less likely to undergo cancer genetic testing than white adults. Young-Rock Hong, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of department of health services research, management and policy in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, led the study, which was published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.


Aaron Franke, M.D., M.S. discusses lung cancer therapies in OncChats

Aaron Franke, M.D., M.S., shared his insights on the lung cancer treatment paradigm in two episodes of OncLive’s OncChats series. In the first episode, he discussed the exploration of cellular therapies in non–small cell lung cancer. In the second, he discussed the need for additional circulating biomarkers beyond PD-L1 in non–small cell lung cancer.


Health fair organized by Project CONTINUITY offers services to Hispanic residents

As part of the Cancer Center's community outreach efforts, Project CONTINUITY helps organize a regular health fair to serve Gainesville's Hispanic community. Project CONTINUITY works to increase access to evidence-based cancer screenings and ensure everyone has a connection to the care they need.


UF researcher receives grant to study gene involved in pediatric cancers

With funding from a Live Like Bella® Pediatric Cancer Research Initiative grant, Steven Bruner, Ph.D., a professor in the department of chemistry in the University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will research detrimental mutations in the human SRP54 gene that cause inherited bone marrow failure syndromes and progression of pediatric cancers.


UF team receives grant to develop prostate biopsy guidance system

Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D, FSSH, FAIMBE, a professor in the department of urology in the UF College of Medicine, and Thomas Stringer, M.D., FACS, an associate professor in the department of urology, have been awarded a grant from the Florida Department of Health Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program to build and verify a 3D perspective visualization guidance system for use with prostate biopsy equipment at the UF Urology Clinic.


UF researcher receives grant for stem cell transplant study

Jordan Milner, M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the division of hematology & oncology in the department of pediatrics in the University of Florida College of Medicine, has been awarded a $125,000 grant from the Live Like Bella® Pediatric Cancer Research Initiative to study the use of alpha/beta T-cell and B-cell depletion in allogeneic stem cell transplantation in malignant diseases.


Info booklet helps older women decide whether to continue mammography

A group led by Dejana Braithwaite, Ph.D., associate director of cancer population sciences at the Cancer Center, created an aid that presents clinician perspectives on screening mammography. The team found that the tool helped better inform older women about breast cancer risk, as well as the potential benefits and harms of continued screening.

decision aid booklet

UF to use $23.5 million grant to build AI infrastructure to improve critical care

The University of Florida has been awarded $3.6 million of a $23.5 million multicenter grant for a four-year data-generation project aimed at building an infrastructure for artificial intelligence in critical care and advancing artificial intelligence in ways that improve patients’ ability to recover from life-threatening illnesses. Elizabeth Shenkman, Ph.D., associate director for community outreach and engagement at the Cancer Center, and Yi Guo, Ph.D., a member of the Cancer Center, are part of the UF multidisciplinary team.


UF researcher’s goal: Tackle HPV vaccine skepticism, access in rural North Central Florida

Florida’s vaccination rate for a virus that can take hold early and cause cancer later in life is among the nation’s lowest, and its rate of those cancers is among the nation’s highest. Stephanie Staras, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of health outcomes and biomedical informatics in the UF College of Medicine, aims to reduce this risk by addressing multiple barriers to vaccination in rural areas with the help of a $4 million, five-year National Institutes of Health grant. 


UF neurosurgery researcher receives grant for glioblastoma study

Brent Reynolds, Ph.D., a professor in the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery in the University of Florida College of Medicine, has received a $250,000 grant from the Florida Department of Health Live Like Bella® Pediatric Cancer Research Initiative to research a new method of treatment for glioblastoma.