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USD professor awarded Board of Regents Competitive Research Grant

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Dr. Khosrow Rezvani, an assistant professor of basic biomedical sciences at the University of South Dakota, was recently awarded a $100,000 Competitive Research Grant from the South Dakota Board of Regents for his research on a molecule that fights cancer.

Colorectal and breast cancers are two of the most common types of cancer in developed countries, causing over 90,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. A normal protein, p53, is a tumor suppressor protein and is often inactive in these types of cancers, promoting their malignancy. Rezvani’s research involves a novel protein, UBXN2A, that causes the release of p53 in the cell, thereby suppressing tumor growth. This research promises new inlets into understanding the cell’s defense against cancer and lays the groundwork to diagnostic and therapeutic strategies towards common cancers.

Dr. Rezvani was one of six recipients of the grant from the South Dakota Board of Regents. His proposal was selected from 52 total applications. The grants, totaling $438,375, were awarded to advance individual projects and strengthen the state’s capacity for research and technology development. This is the eighth year that the state has awarded these grants.

“The state’s commitment to research development is commendable,” said Laura Jenski, Ph.D., vice president for research at USD. “Dr. Rezvani’s cancer therapy research will ultimately impact research far beyond the borders of our state.  Having the state’s support is an honor for USD and underscores the valuable research happening at South Dakota universities.”


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News