USask College of Arts and Science researcher Dr. Eric Price (PhD) has built a chemistry research lab over the last five years that investigates how radiopharmaceuticals can be used in health care. (Photo: Submitted)

$500,000 in federal funding awarded for Canada Research Chair at USask

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher has been awarded $500,000 in funding through the federal government’s Canada Research Chair renewal program to support new insights into the development of “smart” radioactive pharmaceuticals that may be used as innovative treatments for cancers, brain disorders, and infectious diseases.

Dr. Eric Price (PhD), a researcher and assistant professor of chemistry from the USask College of Arts and Science, has built a new chemistry research lab over the last five years focusing on developing radiopharmaceuticals. This chemically diverse class of drugs harnesses the power of nuclear atoms to aid in early disease detection and treatment for cancers, brain disorders, and infectious diseases.  
Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are awarded to excellent emerging researchers who have been recognized by their peers as having potential to lead in their field. The funding is used to support the operation of research programs. 
In conjunction with the Canadian Light Source and the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation on the USask campus, Price’s research team is investigating the development and applications of radiopharmaceuticals. A major focus of the Price Lab is attaching radioactive metal atoms to peptides and antibodies to enable targeted delivery of radioactivity to diseased tissue. 
“Radiopharmaceuticals are helping to usher in a new era of personal medicine, where treatment is tailored to an individual’s unique biology,” said Price. “Many in the scientific and medical community have a strong believe that radiopharmaceuticals are the future of cancer care, and that soon most cancers will be treated by these ‘smart’ nuclear drugs.” 
Price said his lab is also working to create upgraded versions of current radiopharmaceuticals with increased effectiveness and decreased side effects. 
“The Price lab is seeking to create better tools to aid the medical community in their quest to improve patient care and outcomes.” 
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council renewed chair will provide extended funding support at a value of $100,000 annually for five years.