Gift helps Ohio State researchers engineer new ways to fight cancer

Posted: November 19, 2019

The Ohio State University College of Engineering has received a significant donation to enhance collaborative cancer research, empowering its researchers to join forces with other experts on campus to fight the disease.

Three female biomedical engineering researchers consult each other in the lab.
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Jessica Winter (left) is among the researchers whose work will benefit from the College of Engineering Cancer Research Collaboration Fund.
Supported with a generous endowment and estate gift from chemical engineering alumnus Paul Bigley (BS ’61), the College of Engineering Cancer Research Collaboration Fund will catalyze multidisciplinary cancer research projects at Ohio State and enhance future proposals for federal funding.

“Paul’s gift is crucial to jump-starting our cancer engineering innovation initiative,” said Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska, the college’s Lowber B. Strange Endowed Chair and associate dean for research. “It adds significant funds to our limited internal resources and will allow us to continue the post-doctoral fellowship program and add a seed grant program to support early ideas in the cancer engineering domain so that researchers will be able to perform preliminary research required by the National Institutes of Health and other sponsoring agencies.”

In the April 2018 issue of the journal Nature, an article titled, “Collaboration is the key to cancer research” asserted that in order to fight the disease effectively, researchers from across the scientific spectrum and beyond must team up. Ohio State boasts one of the broadest scientific, technology and engineering spectrums in the world, with all of its research disciplines located on one campus. While Ohio State engineers have been working closely with colleagues from the  College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center, Bigley’s endowment will provide opportunities for even greater collaboration and a more powerful impact.

His recent investment also will help educate and mentor post-doctoral researchers at the intersection of engineering and cancer research, effectively preparing them to be the next generation of cancer fighters. Nearly 60 engineering faculty members—not limited to biomedical engineering, but spanning disciplines—spend considerable time and resources on medical or healthcare-related research and commercialization activity. This figure includes 11 College of Engineering/College of Medicine faculty co-appointments. A recent analysis revealed 35 distinct projects related to cancer alone.

A committed friend of the college, Bigley previously supported cancer research conducted by Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Jessica Winter following the successful treatment of his daughter at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

“Paul is a wonderful and generous person,” said Grejner-Brzezinska. “He is committed to supporting cancer research, as his way to contribute to saving more lives.”

If you would like to support engineering-medicine research collaborations at Ohio State, consider making a gift today:

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications |


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