Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

UMass engineers awarded three-year cancer research grant

(Daily Collegian Archives)

(Daily Collegian Archives)

Assistant Professor Maureen Lynch and Associate Professor Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi of the mechanical and industrial engineering department at the University of Massachusetts,have been awarded a three-year, $425,000 grant to study cancer that metastasizes, or spreads, to the skeleton, according to a press release from the University.

The researchers secured the grant from the National Science Foundation, a federal agency that funds science and engineering research. Lynch and Modarres-Sadeghi will study the relationship between mechanical signals and cancer cell behavior.

“The overarching goal of our grant is to predict what a cancer cell will do based on the mechanical environment,” said Lynch.

She explained that forces such as stresses and strains create the skeleton’s mechanical environment. It is possible that breast cancer cells’ behavior varies with these forces, proliferating under certain conditions or remaining more stable in others. Lynch and Modarres-Sadeghi will model different mechanical environments and observe how cells respond.

“We want to have a mapping to say, if this is your mechanical environment, then this is what your cancer cells will do,” said Lynch.

Lynch envisions that this research may provide fundamental information about cancer behavior that scientists do not yet understand. In the long term, she believes that mechanical models may help scientists discover new pathways in the body, as well as allow them to test new drugs or drug combinations. She hopes that someday scientists will be able to insert a patient’s breast cancer cells into a mechanical model to better understand that patient’s individual case.

Although many types of cancer can metastasize to the bones, Lynch and Modarres-Sadeghi’s research will focus on metastatic breast cancer specifically. According to Lynch, three out of four cases of advanced breast cancer progress to this incurable stage.

“It’s a poor prognosis,” Lynch added. “When you get this diagnosis, it’s a bad day.”

The National Science Foundation awards 11,000 grants to researchers across the United States each year from a pool of 40,000 grant proposals, according to the foundation’s website.

Approximately 60 percent of Lynch and Modarres-Sadeghi’s grant will go to the university “to keep the lights on,” funding infrastructure at the university, college, and departmental levels, according to Lynch. The remaining amount will go to their own research specifically, funding the salaries of lab employees and the costs of running experiments.

Hannah Depin can be reached at hdepin@umass.edu.

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