Professors Wages and Hargadon receive research grants

WagesDr. Nolan A. Wages ’04, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The grant, entitled “Designs for Phase 1 Trials of Combinations of Agents,” is part of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and is collaborative work between Dr. Wages and colleagues at the University of Virginia; Inserm, Université Paris VI; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

Phase 1 clinical trials aim at finding a safe and efficient drug administration in humans. This grant will focus on the design of Phase 1 trials that involve the investigation of two or more drugs, which could have a major impact on the way these trials are conducted. As in single agent trials, it is crucial to find a combination of doses that can be administered with an acceptable rate of toxic side effects in order that these new therapies can be tested for effectiveness. Without adequate statistical methods, potentially effective combinations may be discarded as too toxic. Typically, the doses of only one of the multiple agents are escalated. This grant addresses dose escalation of multiple agents simultaneously.

Professor Wages has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has worked on designs for many clinical trials, including a publication that will appear this year in the Journal of the Society of Clinical Trials.

HargadonDr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01, assistant professor of biology, has received a grant from the Virginia Academy of Sciences Jeffress Memorial Trust. The award is for $25,000.

Dr. Hargadon’s research interests lie in understanding the immune response to the skin cancer melanoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, killing over 50,000 Americans each year. This cancer has frequently been shown to induce dysfunctional immune responses.

This research program will further support Dr. Hargadon’s collaboration with H-SC students and will expose these students to a variety of cutting-edge molecular biology and immunologic techniques that include real time RT-PCR, ELISA, and flow cytometry.

Dr. Hargadon has a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Virginia.