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Cancer researcher Seema Singh, Ph.D., has been named the recipient of the 2020 Mayer Mitchell Award for Excellence in Cancer Research.

Published Nov 6th, 2020

By Carol McPhail

Cancer researcher Seema Singh, Ph.D., has been named the recipient of the 2020 Mayer Mitchell Award for Excellence in Cancer Research.

Singh, a professor of pathology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a cancer researcher at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, conducts research on the role of inflammatory signaling in cancer progression, angiogenesis and metastasis, cancer stem cells and cancer health disparities.

The $10,000 award is presented annually to a promising scientist at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute upon the recommendation of a faculty committee. The award was established in 2009 by University of South Alabama Trustee Arlene Mitchell in memory of her late husband, Mayer Mitchell, a Mobile businessman, longtime USA trustee and formative figure in the establishment of MCI.

Singh and her team discovered a novel role for silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in the protection of keratinocytes from UV-induced cell damage. The research explored the effects of size and concentration of the AgNPs on human skin when used for skin cancer therapy and skin cancer chemoprevention.

She also has explored how socioeconomic difficulties affect human biology, leading to higher risks for cancer. This health disparities project is funded by grants that are the largest awarded to a cancer researcher at MCI.

“In addition to conducting innovative and groundbreaking research, Dr. Singh is active in community outreach involving cancer awareness,” said John V. Marymont, M.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine. “She embodies the spirit of the Mayer Mitchell Award and is deserving of this high honor.”

Since joining the MCI in 2009, Singh has had more than 70 articles published in scientific journals. Her research is funded through the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Singh is a co-inventor on a patent issued in 2017 involving a method to alleviate Gemcitabine (a chemotherapeutic) associated resistance in pancreatic cancer treatment.

In 2016, Singh was awarded an Excellence in Faculty Innovation Award from the USA Alumni Association.

Prior to joining MCI, Singh completed postdoctoral training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the area of tumor microenvironment, and breast and melanoma pathobiology. She earned graduate and postgraduate degrees from Aligarh M. University in India.

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