Science Grant Benefits Breast Cancer Research

Professor Furchak in the Dow Science Building with Kalamazoo chemistry majors (l-r) Vinay Sharma ’12, Lydia Manger ’13, Eric Glanz ’13, and Amy Ong ’11

Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jennifer R. Furchak has received a 2011 Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. She will use the $35,000 award to further her work into the development of a multiplexed assay for the analysis of breast cancer metastasis.

“The potential impact of this work in detection and understanding of breast cancer metastasis lies in improvements in simplicity, accuracy, and speed over current methods, which could allow for improved patient treatment and prognoses,” she said. “Ultimately, additional sample throughput will result in better understanding of disease progression.”

According to Furchak, five student researchers at “K” have worked on this project thus far. It’s been the foundation for three completed Senior Independent Projects, and another is in progress this summer. Furchak’s grant is one of 48 Cottrell grants this year totaling $1.8 million and intended to support early career scientists at liberal arts colleges and primarily undergraduate universities.

Undergraduate students must be involved in the research in meaningful ways. Founded in 1912, Research Corporation for Science Advancement is the second-oldest foundation in the United States and the oldest foundation for science advancement.