Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FAMU Receives Patents for Inventions from Detecting Radioactive Materials to Treating Breast Cancer

ur Florida A&M University (FAMU) professors and a staff member have received patents for their inventions that range from detecting radioactive materials in luggage to treating a particular type of breast cancer.

John Cooperwood, associate professor of basic sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has secured a patent for “Selective Estrogen Receptors Modulators,” which is a drug that can assist in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer.

Depending on the stage of its diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be particularly aggressive, and more likely to recur than other subtypes of breast cancer in black women.

According to Cooperwood, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,280 died from it in 2006. White women have the highest incidence follow by black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

“This higher mortality has been shown to be linked to the triple negative form of breast cancer that tends to occur early, under the age of 50, and is more aggressive,” said Cooperwood. “We have several lead compounds in a patent (US patent 7,687,486) that show some promising results on cell culture level against estrogen dependent and triple negative forms of breast cancer.”

Another patent was received collectively by Elliott Treadwell, Ph.D., and Ely I. Leon, Ph.D. They invented the “Threshold Ceronkov Detector with Radial Segmentation.” This design may be adjusted to detect radioactive materials in luggage. High schools may also benefit from general science and astronomy courses that teach students how to detect ever present cosmic and heat rays from a parking lot or lab.

Moeub Lanh, assistant director for Human Resources, was issued a patent for his invention titled the “Finger Flag Assembly.” It is a product that is attached to the finger and is easily removable. It can be used as a flag holder since it has a detachable pole connected. This product is small enough to be carried in a wallet, billfold or a pocket.

Lanh later made an improvement to this invention receiving another patent. This version of the product attaches to writing utensils, car antennas and other narrow items.

Seth Y. Ablordeppey, Ph.D., received a patent for “Haloperidol Analogs,” or new drugs derived from haloperidol for the treatment of mental illness and especially schizophrenia. Unlike its predecessor, the new drugs are designed to treat schizophrenia without producing movement disorders similar to Parkinsonism. In addition, initial tests suggest the new drugs may not produce weight gain which can lead to type II diabetes, a characteristic of the most recent treatment option for schizophrenia. Thus, the new agents have the potential to replace the antipsychotic drugs currently on the market without producing the debilitating side effects associated with them.

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