The Center for Epigenetics and Disease Prevention (CEDP) has been officially integrated as an organizational unit of the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology. The decision was made by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, who announced the formal approval of the establishment of the Texas A&M CEDP.
The official recognition of CEDP as part of the Texas A&M Health Science Center institute of Biosciences and Technology is expected to be crucial for the future growth of the center. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to grow this center and its novel approach to natural treatments, which hold great promise in the fields of medicine and preventative health,” stated the CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center, Brett Giroir in a press release.
The CEDP, which was inaugurated two years ago for the development of new therapies and prevention methods based on naturally occurring compounds to prevent and manage diseases, is currently led by the specialist in epigenetics and dietary cancer prevention, Roderick H. Dashwood, PhD. In 2013, the creation of the center was supported by the Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI) and other institutions from the Texas A&M System with the main purpose of addressing novel methods for preventive medicine.
The center is focused on the study of novel approaches to disease prevention through a “field-to-clinic” paradigm. In order to do so, the CEDP holds initiatives on nutrition, chemistry, medicine expected to alter current cancer approaches, metabolic and other chronic diseases, and works in the investigation of beneficial agents naturally present in food.
Recently, CEDP researchers found that broccoli has the capacity to treat prostate cancer due to a molecule found in the vegetable. The study entitled “SUV39H1/H3K9me3 attenuates sulforaphane-induced apoptotic signaling in PC3 prostate cancer cells” revealed that sulforaphane selectively targets cancer cells in advanced metastatic prostate cancer by inducing modifications in the SUV39H1 enzyme, provoking cell death and delaying disease progression in mouse models.
The CEDP is currently funded by both the CRI and other Texas A&M System institutes and received a total of $9.1 million over five years and over $10 million from additional funding attributed by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Last March, the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC), a large organization composed of academic institutions, also announced the addition of the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology to its list of members.