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Annual Report 2018

Outstanding cancer research

Dr. Alli Murugesan

Cancer research has become more important than ever. UNB scientist Dr. Alli Murugesan is using her talents to develop groundbreaking compounds that will assist in treating blood cancers.

Dr. Murugesan has been researching blood cancers, in particular myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma and is developing a treatment that targets and kills cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy.

For her work, Dr. Murugesan was awarded the 2018 Mitacs Global Impact Entrepreneur Award in recognition of her breakthrough discoveries in cancer research and entrepreneurship.

She has invented a nature-inspired compound to treat blood cancers at the Reiman Cancer Research Laboratory along with UNB’s Dr. Tony Reiman and Université de Moncton professor Dr. Mohamed Touiaibia. The promising compound has the function to kill blood cancer cells and work more efficiently than the current chemotherapy drugs being used.

Dr. Murugesan is an academia-nurtured entrepreneur with a PhD in biotechnology and two postdoctoral fellowships in neuroscience and oncology.

Along with her award, Dr. Murugesan received $5,000 for business development through her company BioHuntress Therapeutics Inc.

“The award really makes me feel that the vision of BioHuntress, as a company that will make a global impact, is being recognized,” says Dr. Murugesan.

BioHuntress Therapeutics Inc. was founded by Dr. Murugesan in 2016 to develop novel, well-tolerated drugs for blood cancers and resorptive bone diseases.

“I was very excited and thrilled to receive this award. There were several equally talented entrepreneurs who applied for this award, so it was a highly competitive application process in which seven of us were chosen, making it even more humbling when I heard that I had won,” says Dr. Murugesan.