Dr. Saleem’s lab section receives award for work on specific protein found in prostate cancer

AUSTIN, Minn. — Thursday, Dec. 2 — A research section at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic has been recognized by a national organization for identifying the role of a protein connected with the proliferation of prostate cancer cells.
    That work conducted by the lab team of Dr. Mohammad Saleem (Bhat) was among the scientific research highlighted in November during the Society for Basic Urologic Research’s fall symposium in Atlanta.
    SBUR is a society of scientists and clinicians whose expertise includes the study of urologic cancers (prostate, bladder, kidney, testis), the biology of prostate growth, kidney and bladder function, autoimmune urologic diseases, infectious diseases and male reproductive biology.

    Findings related to the Bmi-1 protein by Saleem’s “Molecular Chemoprevention and Therapeutics” section was featured in the symposium’s program book as one of the breakthroughs in urologic research.
    “It’s a very important discovery that gives us insight into how cancer cells escape the effects of chemotherapy in prostate cancer patients,” said Saleem, a professor who started his lab at The Hormel Institute in February.
    Their research also led to Dr. Hifzur Siddique, who works under Saleem, receiving a Scholar Travel Award from the organization. The award is given to scientists after their work has been evaluated by a panel of leading scientists in the field of research.
     “Fortunately, our work was judged as high quality research with a clinical significance,” Saleem said.
    Bmi-1 helps cells survive the attack of chemotherapy agents, and, because of that, could be used as a target for new drugs to treat prostate cancer, Saleem said. There’s also hope to use Bmi-1 as a biomarker for the diagnosis and staging of prostate cancer.
    Also related to that research, Saleem spoke in October at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester as an invited seminar speaker on his lab’s Bmi-1 research.
    The Hormel Institute is a world-renowned medical research center, specializing in research into natural compounds that might prevent, control or cure cancer. Its group of highly successful medical scientists is focused on determining the basic molecular mechanisms of cancer development to use their findings for developing new anti-cancer agents.