Dr. Stephen Pelsue, Associate Professor of Applied Medical Sciences, and CSTH Associate Dean, has been awarded $47,000 to support his commercialization project Pilot Project to Develop a Biomarker for Inflammation and Cancer.
Dr. Pelsue’s laboratory has participated in the discovery and characterization of a gene, Ttc7, that is involved in the regulation of cell growth and development. The focus has primarily been on its role in the immune system, however it is also known to be important in regulating development and function of several other tissues and organs. This is a novel gene and therefore, no known function has been identified, and additionally almost no research reagents are available to characterize this important protein. The purpose of this project is to develop a research reagent (anti-Ttc7 antibodies), in collaboration with local Maine companies, that will be of broad scientific interest in the study of cellular regulation. As we have characterized a role for this protein in chronic inflammatory disease, we will also test the antibodies' ability to detect Ttc7 as a potential marker of inflammation that could be used in detection, diagnosis, and therapeutic monitoring of chronic inflammation. This has the potential of being an important research reagent as well as use in clinical assays for inflammation and cancer.