BME Cancer Researchers Receive CPRIT Funding

Professors George Georgiou and Thomas Milner have received a total of $3.3 million in funding for two different grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

headshot of George Georgiou

   George Georgiou

Georgiou, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering received $1.7 million to fund preclinical development of a therapeutic enzyme for immune checkpoint inhibition in cancer.

Certain cancer cells survive by keeping the immune system from recognizing and eliminating them through an immunosuppressive molecule called Kyn. Georgiou and his collaborators are developing a novel biologic drug for reversing the suppressive effects of Kyn on immune cells.


headshot of Thomas Milner

Thomas Milner

Milner, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, received $1.6 million for an image-guided smart laser knife for cancer surgery.

Milner is developing a tool suited well for brain cancer surgery that would allow for advanced imaging for fine cutting and removal of tumor cells and tissues without damage to nearby healthy nerves. Working in collaboration with a surgical oncologist, Milner hopes to develop a tool for physicians that will build on low-cost high-tech laser and fiber optic technology and provide valuable for imaging tumors and removing tissue.

Beginning operations in 2009, CPRIT has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions, non-profits and private enterprises. Besides scientific research funding, CPRIT also provides funding for product development and prevention programs.

Read more about Georgiou and Milner, who are both UT Inventor of the Year award recipients.