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Newtown Rep. Hails State's Investment In Bioscience, Cancer Research

Connecticut state legislators tour the recently renovated research and academic facilities at UConn Health Center. Photo Credit: Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center
UConn Health Tour with Rep. Sredzinski, center, and UConn President Susan Herbst Photo Credit: Contributed photo

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- J.P. Sredzinski, a Republican who represents Monroe and Newtown in the state House, recently toured the University of Connecticut Health Center’s Cell and Genome Science Labs to check outs its latest research developments.

Sredzinski, along with other state legislators, took a detailed look at UConn's research labs, along with its state-of-the-art science and engineering facilities in Farmington.

The tour was guided by UConn President Susan Herbst. Also taking part was Frank Lieto, president Fighting Angels Foundation, an organization looking to find a cure for Angolan Syndrome.

An estimated one in 15,000 individuals are affected by Angolan Syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder that prevents children from learning to walk, talk and feed themselves.

“After touring the Bioscience laboratory, I am more encouraged than ever that our bioscience investment is showing scientists and researchers around the world that Connecticut is serious about its bioscience research and innovation. These initiatives are attracting world class scientists to Connecticut, which will build momentum to establish a thriving ecosystem of new businesses and high value jobs,” said Sredzinski, a member of the legislature’s Commerce Committee.

Lawmakers and legislative staff also stopped in the lab of Dr. Pramod Srivastava, director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“In our laboratory we are working on a new vaccine for ovarian cancer, the most lethal gynecological malignancy of which most women die since there is currently no effective, advanced treatment available,” Srivastava said.

“We now know that every patient’s cancer is unique, just as individual as our fingerprint. We can now read the genomics of an ovarian cancer patient’s cancer cells to see exactly what type of that cancer they have, and we work to make a personalized vaccine based on their specific tumor’s mutations with the aim to extend their survival.”

Srivastava also told the visiting lawmakers and staff that his ovarian cancer vaccine is the first of its kind: It is based on a person’s own genomics, and he has FDA approval to start testing the vaccine in a new clinical trial.

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