New UCF researchers, college will help fight Alzheimer's disease, cancer

a, who is the founder of the biotech company New Neural. "We are investigating the safety aspect."

Another new researcher, YouMing Lu, is studying how to prevent neurons from dying and how to replace dead neurons in the brain with newly stimulated ones as therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and strokes. He previously taught at the University of Calgary.

Mark Muller, a professor of molecular genetics who last taught at Ohio State University, is studying enzymes known as topoisomerases that can kill cancer cells. Hoping to improve the quality of cancer-fighting drugs, Muller is trying to find out as much as possible about what causes the enzymes to target cancer cells.

Muller said he plans to work with a colleague at Ohio State to find out whether the effects they've noticed working with cells grown in lab cultures also show up in actual tumor cells. He also is beginning to study whether regulating levels of a protein called KIP through drugs could be an effective way to fight cancer.

Muller has founded several companies, including TopoGEN Inc., which is developing new compounds to fight cancer. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Kenneth Teter, a cell biologist who conducted his post-doctoral research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center before coming to UCF, is researching ways to block the toxins that cause cholera, dysentery and other diseases from getting through cell membranes and into the cells, where they cause diarrhea and other health problems.

Learning how to best block that movement can help produce better drugs to fight those diseases, which are common in Third World countries, and other illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, Teter said.

The new researchers and expanding biomedical programs will give UCF a stronger foundation for a medical school as it investigates the need for one in Central Florida. An ongoing study will determine the viability of a medical s

Contact: Tom Evelyn
University of Central Florida

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