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Nationally Recognized Cancer Researcher Joins USU USTAR Team

Thursday, Oct. 04, 2007

USTAR researcher David C. Ward

David C. Ward joins the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative's Center for Advanced Nutrition at USU.

Utah State University has recruited David C. Ward to join its Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative’s Center for Advanced Nutrition. Ward is the deputy director of the Nevada Cancer Research Institute. He will give USU just under 20 percent of his time and will be appointed as an adjunct professor of chemistry.

Ward is internationally recognized for his research in the fields of molecular cytogenetics, cancer genetics, virology and optical imaging technology. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the first USU researcher to be a part of this organization.
“Recent advances in genomic and proteomic technology suggest that it will be soon possible to treat patients with ‘personalized medicines’ designed to maximize efficacy and minimize adverse side effects,” said Ward. “I will be working diligently with USU faculty to identify genetic markers that may be utilized in the commercial development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Collectively, we will be working on genetic markers for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, developmental disorders such as autism and neonatal deafness, and cardiovascular diseases such as venous thromboembolism.”
Specializing in the development of new technologies and the application of new technologies to human health, Ward focuses on genetics, proteomics and imaging. His genetics research has included the study of cancer mutations and genetic epidemiology as it relates to the incidence of cancer, genetic predisposition to cancer and patient response to cancer therapy protocols. Ward’s proteomics research is focused on the discovery of serum biomarkers for various cancers and chemotherapeutic response serum biomarkers. Ward also has a strong interest in the development and application of thermal and infrared imaging technologies for cancer imaging.
“I am delighted to have David Ward join USU at this time,” said Ned Weinshenker, USU vice president for technology commercialization. “His expertise in biomarkers and genetics is well respected by our faculty, and he is already serving as a catalyst to move several of our key biological studies forward. He is also very cognizant of the commercial potential of the work and will be instrumental in helping to spin out new technologies and companies.”
USU’s Center for Advanced Nutrition is focused on exploring the impact of nutrition on such 21st century plagues as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Ward’s understanding of genetic biomarkers will also complement several of USU’s research emphases in the areas of autism, Alzheimer’s and hearing loss.
“We are really pleased to have Dr. Ward join our team because we will be able to enter a completely new area of research that will allow us to look at the genetic side of nutrition,” said David York, director of USU’s Center for Advanced Nutrition.
Ward has co-authored more than 300 scientific publications and has served on grant review panels in the United States, Canada and England. He is also a co-founder of five biotechnology companies, three of which are publicly traded on national stock exchanges.
Ward earned a bachelor’s in microbiology from Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada; a master’s in biochemistry from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; and a doctorate in biochemistry from Rockefeller University, New York.
After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, England, Ward joined the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine in 1971, where he remained in the departments of genetics and molecular biophysics and biochemistry until his recruitment to the Nevada Cancer Research Institute.
Passed in the 2006 state legislative session, USTAR is designed to help Utah keep pace in scientific research and technological advancement — directly translating to a stronger economy, high-paying jobs, increased tax revenue and better quality of life, said USU Vice President for Research Brent Miller. The USTAR Economic Development Initiative leverages the proven success of Utah’s research universities in creating and commercializing innovative technologies.
For more information about USU’s Center for Advanced Nutrition, visit its Web site. For more information on USTAR, visit its Web site.
Contact: Ned Weinshenker [], 435-797-9602

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