By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- A grant of $21,184 was awarded this month, as a way to aid in local breast cancer research.
The Community Foundation of Brevard's Kenneth R. Finken and Dorothy Hallam Finken Endowment Fund donated the funding to Florida Institute of Technology for research spearhead by Munevver Mine Subasi, assistant professor of mathematical sciences in the College of Science.
The grant provides funds for the initial study of the use and development of sophisticated mathematical techniques applied to breast cancer research, Ms. Subasi said.
"The successful results of this project will be used as basis in proposals to attract funding from other funding agencies, including National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation," she said. "(The grant) also provides an excellent opportunity for me to reach (and) attract local medical experts for future collaborative studies."
Ms. Subasis will use statistical and mathematical tools to identify the patterns of expression of gene ratios that relate to resistance to the drug Tamoxifen.
"The successful results of this research are expected to directly help medical experts to identify the estrogen positive breast-cancer patients, who develop resistance to Tamixfen," Ms. Subasi said. "The research is also expected to lead to the development of new mathematical tools to address the specific needs of the area of Medical Bioinformatics. The research efforts will be extended to highly aggressive cancers of the brain, ovary and lung."
Kenneth Finken was a graduate of Colombia University and held four patents. He retired from the Government Electronic Systems division of Harris Corp.
Ms. Subasi said the research will be beneficial for the both the mathematical and scientific communities.
"(The research) is expected to attract local medical researches for future collaborative studies," she said.
Ms. Subasi said that she has been interested in doing research of this magnitude for some time now.
"I have participated in various projects involving large-scale data analysis, with applications to medicine, during my graduate and postgraduate studies," she said. "I have been introduced to breast cancer research through a project supervised by Dr. Gyan Bhanot, (BioMaPS Institute of Rutgers and Cancer Institute of New Jersey) during my post-doc studies. Since then, I have been exploring the area of Medical Bioinformatics and developing and applying mathematical tools for large-scale data analysis."