Nova Southeastern University Cancer Researcher Earns Prestigious Fulbright Award

FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, FL -- Nova Southeastern University (NSU) cancer researcher Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., was selected for a prestigious J. William Fulbright award to conduct cancer research and training in India. Dr. Rathinavelu is associate dean for institutional planning and development at NSU's College of Pharmacy and executive director of NSU's Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research.

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants from more than 180 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

"NSU is proud of Dr. Rathinavelu and his tremendous work in the field of cancer research," said Dr. George Hanbury, President of NSU. "Our University is dedicated to supporting the highest levels of research that will one day make positive impacts in the global community. To have one of our researchers recognized at this level is a success for all of us to celebrate."

As a Fulbright recipient, Dr. Rathinavelu joins the ranks of recipients who have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They have been awarded 53 Nobel Prizes.

Dr. Rathinavelu will use the grant to develop and validate new genomics-based tests that could help during the treatment of breast and prostate cancers. During the two three-month endeavors, he also will help establish research collaborations and train graduate student researchers at VRR Institute of Biomedical Science in Chennai, India, which is affiliated with University of Madras, where Dr. Rathinavelu completed his graduate training.

Dr. Rathinavelu holds a U.S. (7,875,603 B2) and Japanese (5436544 B) patent for discovering a small organic molecule called "JFD" that is anti-angiogenic, meaning it "starves" tumors and other cancer cells by preventing blood flow that supplies the tumors with oxygen and nutrients that would otherwise help them to grow and survive. This molecule is less expensive to manufacture, stable in storage, expected to be less toxic and is more effective against solid tumors. It is specifically designed to battle breast, ovarian, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers.

He also holds a U.S. patent for discovering a molecule called "F16" (7,939,557 B2) that is more potent and is specifically designed to combat breast cancer cells.

Dr. Rathinavelu has published more than 40 peer-reviewed research articles, served on the editorial board of several scientific journals and committees, co-authored a text book and given more than 75 presentations at national and international conferences.

He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Madras in India and conducted his postdoctoral training at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. In 1992, he joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Southeastern University's College of Pharmacy, which merged with Nova to become Nova Southeastern University in 1994.

About NSU's Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research (RGI): Nova Southeastern University'sRumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research's (RGI) main goal is to develop newer cancer therapies that can specifically target tumors, with minimal cellular damage and toxicity to the patient. Together with its industrial, academic, and governmental partners, RGI and its researchers are investigating why cancer resists chemotherapy, how resistance can be overcome, which chemotherapeutic agents most likely will work in an individual, and what causes cancer to spread. For more information, please visit

About NSU's College of Pharmacy: NSU's College of Pharmacy offers a challenging professional degree program of study in pharmacy that emphasizes the pharmaceutical sciences and patient-centered care. Presented with the use of innovative teaching modalities and the newest technology, the curriculum is designed to prepare pharmacy graduates for life-long learning and leadership capabilities as medication therapy managers in our nation's healthcare system. You will find our programs conducted by an exceptional, talented faculty committed to your education. They, themselves, are agents of change in such diverse fields of research and practice as genomics, drug development, informatics, and pharmacotherapy. For more information, please visit

About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution with more than 24,000 students, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers,Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education's criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit  for more information.

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