Mississippi INBRE funded researcher Dr. Debarshi Roy and his multi-university team of faculty researchers were recently published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, a major biochemical and biophysical research journal with an impact factor of 3.575 and acceptance rate of only 17%. An Associate Professor of Biology at Alcorn State University, Dr. Roy’s study is titled Multi-component Redox System for Selective and Potent Antineoplastic Activity towards Ovarian Cancer Cells and concerns the use of a novel form of photodynamic therapy to treat ovarian cancer. The publication represents a major step forward in Mississippi INBRE’s mission to increase the biomedical research capacity of historically black colleges and universities in the state.

Dr. Roy’s research focuses on the use of a novel form of photodynamic therapy, or PDT. PDT is a two-stage cancer treatment that combines light energy with a special type of drug known as a photosensitizer. When light is activated, usually in the form of a laser, cancerous cells are destroyed while non-cancerous cells are left untouched. PDT is especially useful in cases where it can be impossible to destroy cancerous cells without critically damaging non-cancerous cells, such as ovarian cancer.

Although PDT has long been established as a legitimate cancer treatment, Dr. Roy’s version of it eliminates the need for light activation. This means it could potentially be a more effective, less invasive form of the treatment compared to conventional PDT. According to Dr. Roy, the success of this treatment relies on a synergistic effect when combined with chemotherapy. In other words, if you use PDT to supplement part of a regular dose of chemotherapy, it could result in less normal cell death in cancer patients. In the future, this may lead to better treatment outcomes and a higher quality of life. So far, the results are promising.

Dr. Roy explains, “Application of PDT to test the chemo sensitization would be crucial as drug resistance is considered as one of the biggest challenges in cancer therapeutics. We will test the synergistic effects of PDT in combination with commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs such as, carboplatin, paclitaxel, and others.”

Congratulations to Dr. Roy for achieving this critical step in the research process. Mississippi INBRE is proud to support our growing network of biomedical investigators, and Dr. Roy’s lab is a shining example of the importance of their work and the critical role that Mississippi INBRE plays.

“Mississippi INBRE has been instrumental in every single step in setting up my laboratory, supporting grant writing efforts, and continuous mentoring.  This newly developed laboratory is used to train several undergraduate and graduate students under my mentorship and has been instrumental in many different biomedical science projects. Some of the teaching laboratory experiments and trainings also took place in this new laboratory. I am very grateful for Mississippi INBRE’s continued support,” says Dr. Roy.

To view the study, click here.