Susan Thomas, a researcher with the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is one of is one of three breast cancer researchers from three different Georgia universities to be awarded $50,000 in funding from It’s the Journey and The Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (CORE).
Thomas, assistant professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, is researching in collaboration with M.G. Finn, professor and chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry, a proposed ‘two-stage delivery and release’ drug delivery system with the goal of ultimately eliminating HER2 positive breast tumors. HER2 is a breast cancer that tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells.
She is a winner of the Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society (2013) and the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials (2018), and her interdisciplinary research program has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, among others.
It’s the Journey and Georgia CORE teamed up to provide $175,000 to recognize creative ideas that may advance progress toward detecting, treating or curing breast cancer.
In addition to Thomas, the two other $50,000 grant awardees are Mandi Murph, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at University of Georgia, and Aneja Ritu, adjunct professor for the Center for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection in the Department of Biology at Georgia State University. Dora Il’yasova, associate professor of epidemiology in Georgia State’s School of Public Health was granted a $25,000 award.
The awards were announced at the end of the Georgia 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, Nov. 12. The event, produced annually by It’s the Journey, Inc., founded 15 years ago by breast cancer survivor Randi Passoff. Georgia CORE is an independent non-profit organization (comprised of clinicians, scientists, educations, researchers, and people affected by cancer) that supports clinical research.