Texas 4000 Grants Funds to BME Cancer Researchers

Texas 4000, a non-profit that raises funds for cancer research through an annual bike ride from Austin to Alaska, has granted $50,000 to the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Two professors, Drs. Amy Brock and Jenny Jiang, have been awarded $25,000 each for their cancer-related research.

headshot of Amy Brock

Brock's research focuses on tumor progression in breast cancer. While some breast cancer lesions will eventually become tumors, most will remain benign throughout the patient's lifetime. Dr. Brock wants to identify the point in the cancer formation that these lesions either become invasive cancers or remain dormant. She wants to explore warning signals of critical transitions of lesions, which may be useful in distinguishing low-risk lesions from those likely to transition into proliferative cancers.


Jenny Jiang portrait cropped

Jiang's research aims to improve early cancer detection and relapse monitoring. Advancements in imaging technologies have led to increased detection of suspicious breast lesions at earlier stages. However, there lacks a quick, noninvasive method to distinguish a benign tumor from a malignant one. The time between a lesion detection, a biopsy, and results can lead to an undue burden both financially and emotionally. Jiang's lab is exploring a blood-based test that can identify a patient's risk for invasive diseases as well as a cancer relapse by leveraging the sensitivity of the patient's own immune system. The result will lead to a quicker, cost-effective, noninvasive, reliable, and sensitive method for diagnosing early breast cancer and relapse monitoring.

About Texas 4000

Texas 4000 is an annual bike ride that begins in Austin and ends in Anchorage, Alaska. Cyclists raise money to participate in the ride, which is donated to cancer research. Texas 4000 is a non-profit founded by BME alumnus Chris Condit, who now serves on the group's board of directors.