2009 Collaborative Research Development Grant Recipient — Anil K. Sood, MD
Dr. Sood aims to develop new types of treatments for ovarian cancer using short interfering RNA or siRNA approaches. siRNA molecules are part of a natural, selective process inside cells that turn off genes. Their potential for becoming new drugs is being highly investigated. In this study, Dr. Sood will use siRNA in three projects:
- He will use siRNA to turn off a specific gene called FAK, believed to be overexpressed in ovarian cancer. He will put the siRNA in a liposome, or a microscopic fatty carrier, to release the drug into diseased tissue.
- He will put siRNAs that turn off the genes ATP7A and ATP7b, believed to play a role in resistance to platinum drugs, into a liposome to try to overcome the drug’s resistance and
- He will try to develop new carriers for siRNAs so they target ovarian cancer rather than normal tissue and remain in the diseased tissue longer.
Professor and Vice Chair, Translational Research
Co-Director, Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA
Director, Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Center
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Sood is Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology and co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
He is also Director of the multi-disciplinary Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Dr. Sood’s research is focused in three main areas: 1) effects of neuroendocrine stress hormones on ovarian cancer growth and progression, 2) development of new strategies for in vivo siRNA delivery, and 3) development of novel anti-vascular therapeutic approaches.
Dr. Sood has received major recognition for his research accomplishments including the Hunter Award, the Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize, and the GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher. Dr. Sood is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.