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Saccomanno scientist presents cancer research at European conference

October 05, 2011
A cure for cancer? It will some day be one of man’s greatest accomplishments. Scientists right here at St. Mary’s Saccomanno Research Institute have been contributing their work to this goal since the late 1940s.

Kelly Jean Craig, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the Saccomanno Research Institute, was recently invited to present her research on programmed cell death (apoptosis) at the 8th Conference on Mitochondrial Physiology and Pathology in Bordeaux, France. Apoptosis is a natural, protective process that kills and disposes of damaged cells so they cannot multiply and produce more damaged cells. Precancerous cells are damaged cells, but they learn to override the apoptosis process and continue to grow and multiply, developing into cancer.

“I’m studying how the energy in cancer cells differs from the energy in normal cells,” says Craig. The energy differences may show how cancer cells avoid being destroyed by apoptosis. “Identifying these differences will help us understand how cancers form and may lead to the development of new drugs and improved treatments for cancer patients.”