Murdock grant to support cancer research at Linfield

Sreerupa Ray and Andrew Baggett, professors M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust continues to invest in science, medicine with $120,000 grant to Linfield College for cancer research

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust recently awarded $120,000 to support cancer therapy research by two Linfield College professors.

“Over our many years of partnering with Linfield College, we have always been impressed by the quality and caliber of work undertaken by their science faculty,” said Dr. Moses Lee, senior director for scientific research and enrichment programs for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “This grant will not only help Linfield educate the next generation of scientists, it will help make a tangible difference in the lives of cancer patients and, hopefully, improve outcomes for cancer treatment.”

Dr. Sreerupa Ray applied to Murdock for a $60,000 grant to research whether gene mutations affect chemotherapy treatments. Human DNA becomes damaged in response to its environment, but usually the body repairs the damaged DNA. Occasionally, a gene mutates and the body cannot repair that damaged gene. Ray will research whether genes with specific mutations will respond differently to chemotherapy compared to genes without those specific mutations. This research will ultimately help doctors understand how and when to adjust cancer treatments for patients with gene mutations.

Dr. Andrew Baggett applied to Murdock for a $60,000 grant to study a promising new way to potentially stop or slow the spread of certain kinds of cancer in the body. Baggett and his team of chemistry and biochemistry undergraduates are studying a specific protein that humans need for essential cellular processes. But certain kinds of cancer also need this protein, because it helps cancer cells move and divide, thus helping cancer spread in the body. By studying ways to block this protein, Baggett and his team may be able to identify ways to block the spread of certain kinds of cancer. Discoveries from this project will also advance general knowledge about this protein.

“These grants will advance understanding of two different but related topics in cancer treatment. We are grateful to Murdock’s continued support for our college and our researchers,” said Miles K. Davis, Linfield College president.

These two grants mark more than $640,000 awarded to Linfield College by the Murdock Trust since 2011.

“Our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed strongly in the value and power of scientific research, exploration and inspiration,” said Dr. Steve Moore, Executive Director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “We are grateful to be able to partner with institutions that are investing tirelessly in the work of growing our scientific knowledge and inspiring the next generation of scientific researchers and educators.”

About M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust

M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest – Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington – that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Since its inception in 1975, the Trust has awarded more than 6,700 grants totaling nearly $990 million. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and on our website.