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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. Student Receives $90,000 Research Grant

April 21, 2004

Mengna Xia, a biomedical engineering student at The University of Texas at Arlington, has received a grant from the Department of Defense Medical Research Program. The $90,000, three-year grant will fund Xia’s research in developing a novel approach to improve the effectiveness of breast cancer therapies.

Titled “Simultaneous Monitoring of Vascular Oxygenation and Tissue Oxygenation Tension of Breast Tumors under Hyperbaric Oxygen Exposure,” the project will employ noninvasive optical tools to simultaneously monitor vascular and tissue oxygen levels of tumors under different strategies of hyperbaric oxygen exposure. This project will not only provide the insight into the patho-physiology of cancer but also result in another noninvasive and therapeutic tool for clinical practice, improving the efficiency of non-surgical (chemical and radiation) therapies for breast cancer.

In earlier studies, Xia noticed changes in the effectiveness of treatments to rats that had also been administered oxygen. She now plans to expose rats to oxygen at higher pressures, using a hyperbaric chamber that will be installed soon at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. UTA's Biomedical Engineering Program is conducted jointly with UT Southwestern.

Xia is the principal investigator for the research project. She is being assisted by Dr. Hanli Liu of UTA’s Biomedical Engineering Program and by Drs. Ralph Mason and Benjamin Levine of UT Southwestern