Madras University researcher earns prestigious Fulbright Award

Dr. Rathinavelu is associate dean for institutional planning and development at NSU's College of Pharmacy and executive director of NSU's Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research

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Nova Southeastern University (NSU) cancer researcher Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., was selected for a prestigious J. William Fulbright award to conduct cancer research and training in India. Dr. Rathinavelu is associate dean for institutional planning and development at NSU's College of Pharmacy and executive director of NSU's Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research.

The Fulbright Program, the US government's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the US Department of State. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants from more than 180 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

As a Fulbright recipient, Dr. Rathinavelu joins the ranks of recipients who have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They have been awarded 53 Nobel Prizes.

Dr. Rathinavelu will use the grant to develop and validate new genomics-based tests that could help during the treatment of breast and prostate cancers. During the two- and three-month endeavors, he also will help establish research collaborations and train graduate student researchers at VRR Institute of Biomedical Science in Chennai, India, which is affiliated with University of Madras, where Dr. Rathinavelu completed his graduate training.

Dr. Rathinavelu holds a US (7,875,603 B2) and Japanese (5436544 B) patent for discovering a small organic molecule called ‘JFD' that is anti-angiogenic, meaning it ‘starves' tumors and other cancer cells by preventing blood flow that supplies the tumors with oxygen and nutrients that would otherwise help them to grow and survive. This molecule is less expensive to manufacture, stable in storage, expected to be less toxic and is more effective against solid tumors. It is specifically designed to battle breast, ovarian, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers. He also holds a US patent for discovering a molecule called ‘F16' (7,939,557 B2) that is more potent and is specifically designed to combat breast cancer cells.

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