Ten years from now, currently used chemotherapy may be outdated.
That’s what BYU alumnus Philip Low, who received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University, predicts with his cutting-edge cancer research. This research is focused on creating medication that targets cancer cells directly without harming the non-cancerous cells in the human body.
“I think it’s inspiring to see what Dr. Low’s accomplished and his advocacy for hard work and good Gospel living,” said Rebecca Plimpton, a bio-chemistry grad student attending BYU, who says her research is similar to Low’s in some ways.
Low’s method for drug delivery can be used to target not only specific cancer cells but also inflammation and infectious diseases, from arthritis to malaria. His targeting method has also been used prior to surgeries to attach luminescent molecules to cancer cells making them visible. Low showed how much more cancerous material can be identified and surgically removed using this method helping to prevent a recurrence of the cancer.
A variety of science professors, students, and alumni attended Low’s presentation. There were even some attendees without a scientific background.
“You never know when something will hit your own family, and it’s good to be aware of what’s happening in the medical world,” said Dylan Beazer, a sophomore at BYU studying history.
Low and his students and collaborators are honing in on new and better methods of treating cancer and saving lives in the process.