AMU researcher to develop cancer control drug
Aligarh, May 21: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) researcher might soon develop a drug that can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer stem cells.
Dr Hifzur Rahman Siddique from the Section of Genetics, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has received a Department of Science and Technology-Science and Engineering Research Board (DST-SERB) grant of Rs 60 lakhs for the research on cancer stem cells. He will be working as a Principal Investigator on the research with Dr G G H A Shadab as the Coordinator.
The grant for the research has been approved by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Dr Siddiqui will focus on the development of novel agents and small inhibitory molecules which could be used to either act as modulators of signaling pathways or could correct the errors in cell signaling machinery.
Speaking on the work, Dr Siddiqui said that since there is no drug against cancer stem cells, the cancer treatment at present depends on a variety of chemicals for chemotherapy with a severity of side effects.
Dr Siddiqui added that at initial stage of therapy, most cancer cells are killed either by chemotherapeutic drugs or radiation, but a few cells survive to form tumour, reappearing cancer after a gap of few months to few years.
Dr Siddiqui informed, he is also working on the anti-cancer activities of the compounds present in Neem, Mangos, Olive and Aloe Vera. "I am quite optimistic about the presence of one or more compounds in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines, which might help to control cancer," he said adding that however, we need thorough scientific investigations.
Earlier, Dr Siddique received a grant of Rs 10 Lakh from University Grants Commission, New Delhi for his research.
He has been working on cancer stem cells for over a decade and recently established a dedicated lab at AMU to initiate the research. Dr Siddique has presented his research work on a number of occasions as Proffered Oral Presentations in the prestigious American Association for Cancer Research and the annual meeting of the Society for Basic Urologic Research, USA.
Dr Siddique is a recipient of Young Scientist Award-2010 from the Society of Basic Urologic Research, USA, Indian Academy of Bio-Medical Sciences Award-2017 and VIFR Excellent Science Teacher Award-2018.
His publications have been highlighted by the national and international media including the New York Times, Wall-Street Journal, The Street and others. In 2014, Dr Siddiqui?s work on therapy-resistant was selected as one of the three featured prostate-cancer research works in the highlights-section of the Department of Defence, USA.
Dr Siddiqui serves on numerous boards, committees, scientific societies/associations, and charitable organizations. He is editorial member of US journals, Cell Science and Report and Cancer Therapy and Oncology International Journal.
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