Our second announced speaker is Seema Singh, an Associate Professor of Oncologic Sciences at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute (MCI). She earned her Ph.D. in bioscience at Aligarh M. University in India, and came to the U.S. in 2001 with her husband Ajay Singh, who is also a research scientist at MCI. The Singhs are now U.S. citizens. Together, in the Health Disparities in Cancer Research Program, they are exploring the molecular factors at play in cancer health disparities. African-American women are more likely to develop an aggressive form of breast cancer and die from it than are Caucasian women. The same can be said of African-American men with prostate cancer — clinical findings that are especially relevant in the Deep South. Seema says, “We know that there are many factors at work, such as access to health care. However, we believe that not only those factors, but also biological factors, play a role.” Her research on the tumor microenvironment in breast cancer of African-American women is funded by a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, her work on skin cancer has resulted in a patent for sunscreen technology using silver nanoparticles.
In this “Meet the MCI Researcher” video, you can learn more about Seema’s research.