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Purdue Research: A New Way to Treat Glioblastoma

Xiaoping Bao, assistant professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, is looking at novel cancer therapeutics that, when successful, will provide life-saving treatment for those suffering from glioblastoma (GBM), one of the most aggressive and lethal solid tumors in the brain or spinal cord. With gift funding, Bao hopes to move forward with clinical trials.

While efficacious therapeutics have been developed to treat various cancers, their effectiveness in GBM treatment has been hindered largely by the blood-brain barrier and blood-brain-tumor barriers.

Bao believes CAR-neutrophils, or chimeric antigen receptor neutrophils, and engraftable HSCs, or hematopoietic stem cells, are effective types of therapies for blood diseases and cancer. Neutrophils are the most abundant white cell blood type and effectively cross physiological barriers to infiltrate solid tumors. HSCs are specific progenitor cells that will replenish all blood lineages, including neutrophils, throughout life. The problem is that these cells have difficulty expanding to the amount required for infusion.

With the help of three other chemical engineers, Bao has developed a patent-pending method to mass-produce CAR-neutrophils from stem cells that self-renew and are able to become any type of human cell.

Bao and his colleagues believe they have developed a safe, potent, and versatile platform for treating GBM and possibly other devastating diseases.

The next stage of Bao’s work involves clinical trials in dogs with spontaneous glioma, and he hopes the results will allow the research to advance into human models. 

Gift funding is needed for Bao’s work to advance to this next step. Contact Travis Stoutenborough at 765-494-4065 or to learn more about this project. 

Patsy J. Mellott

BS College of Health and Human Sciences, 1969
Fishers, IN

Patsy earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business from Purdue in 1969, in addition to an MBA in food marketing from Michigan State University in 1970. She retired from Kraft Foods in 2006 after 36 years in corporate food marketing and marketing communications management.

A community volunteer, Patsy serves on the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board and the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, in addition to the President’s Council Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Health and Human Sciences Alumni Board. Patsy held several offices from 2006 through 2013, including president and treasurer. She serves her community’s Discover Indianapolis Club in Fishers, holding several leadership roles for over 10 years.

Patsy has received several honors, including the Purdue University Nutrition Science Department Hall of Fame recipient in 2009 and the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. She also received the college’s Gold and Black Award in 2016, an honor reserved for donors who have moved the college forward by committing exceptional financial resources.

In addition to endowing two scholarships, the Patsy J. Mellott Scholarship and Patsy J. Mellott HHS Scholarship, she established the Patsy J. Mellott Teaching Innovation Award in the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013. In 2015, she endowed the Patsy J. Mellott Women’s Tennis Coach Performance Award. She is a lead donor in the Christine M. Ladisch Faculty Leadership Award and the Purdue Women’s Network Virginia C. Meredith Scholarship for the College of Health and Human Sciences.