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T.J. Puls, a Ph.D. candidate at the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, has received a 2017-2018 IFER Fellowship for his project, “Engineering Novel 3D Tumor-Stroma to Bridge the Gap Between Preclinical Models and Human Clinical Outcomes.” Because existing cancer models, such as xenograft mouse models, lack physiological relevance and often fail to predict human clinical outcomes, T.J. will be developing a sophisticated, human-relevant cancer model that focuses on pancreatic cancer, a type of cancer associated with poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. With IFER funding, he will be creating a three-dimensional, cell-based model that incorporates elements of the tumor microenvironment (the cells, blood vessels and molecules surrounding the tumor), a model that aims to reduce animal use by giving more predictive power to cell-based studies.

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