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Missouri S&T computer modeling chases diseases

Missouri S&T assistant professor Dipak Barua is using computational modeling to find ways to treat and possibly cure diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Photo by Sam O’Keefe, courtesy of Missouri S&T News & Events.

Researching ways to cure cancer and neurodegenerative diseases in the lab is painstaking, time-consuming and expensive. But a Missouri University of Science and Technology professor is using computer modeling to test drug therapies that one day could lead to cures for these conditions that kill millions each year.

Dr. Dipak Barua, assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri S&T, is the principal investigator on a project funded with a Department of Energy grant for $112,377 on “countering pathogen interfaces with human defenses.”

“We use math and computational modeling as a tool to understand the mechanisms in cells, and we develop computational and mathematical models that make predictions” about what will happen with different therapies, Barua says.

Based on 2012 data, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2015 that approximately 8.2 million people worldwide die each year from cancer — and the number of new cases is expected to increase by 70 percent in the next 20 years. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) combined affect 220.5 people per 100,000 people worldwide, according to the WHO.


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About this Story

Campus: Missouri S&T
Key words: Health, Innovation, Rolla Campus, Science, Technology,
County: Phelps