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Wesleyan biology professor receives $100,000 grant to continue cancer research

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – Visiting Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Yi Charlie Chen has been awarded a grant to continue his cancer research with Marshall University.  The grant, of which Chen will receive slightly under $100,000, was approved by WV-INBRE and National Institute of Health and is focused on non-pungent capsaicin analogs and ovarian cancer therapy.

“The long-term objective of my laboratory is to investigate the anti-tumor activity of capsaicin (the spicy pungent component of chili peppers) in human cancers,” Chen said.

Capsaicin may have potential applications in the treatment of ovarian cancer after being shown to decrease the viability of human ovarian cancer cells in cell culture systems.

Chen arrived at West Virginia Wesleyan College this fall after teaching at Alderson Broaddus University for 23 years. At WVWC, he teaches Principles of Molecular Biology, Ecology, Research, Principles of Organismal Biology and Senior Seminar as well as the accompanying labs. Chen earned his Ph.D. in Entomology and Molecular Biology from Washington State University. He is a member of the steering committee of WV-INBRE.

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