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UNT Insider | March 2013 issue | Chemistry researcher receives grant to analyze cancer cells

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Chemistry researcher receives grant to analyze cancer cells

From a UNT News Service press release

Guido Verbeck

Guido Verbeck

Associate professor of chemistry Guido Verbeck received a nearly $200,000 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to analyze metabolites, the products of metabolism, in cancer cells.

Verbeck's work will help researchers determine differences in the metabolism of cancerous and non-cancerous cells. Learning the differences in how cancerous and non-cancerous cells metabolize will help researchers develop treatments and possibly cures.

"When you look at a cancerous tumor as a whole, you will have a mix of healthy and cancerous cells," Verbeck says. "The idea here is to use our Nanomanipulator device to look at this at the single-cell level and to compare the cells to see what differences exist in their chemistry."

Verbeck invented the Nanomanipulator device in 2006 that he will use to examine the cells. Currently, Verbeck's Imaging and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at UNT is the only research facility with a nanomanipulator.

The device is based on a manipulation system for nanoprobing in scanning electron microscopes, and can be used in a variety of forensic and biological applications. The technology could help doctors analyze cells on a patient-by-patient basis, which would help to rapidly screen patients and develop specialized therapy options.

Leslie Wimmer with UNT News Service can be reached at

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March 2013

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