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Top 15 of 2015: A Scourge of a Disease (1)

December 30, 2015
Barrie Bode

Barrie Bode

Barrie Bode never set out to be a cancer researcher.

A year after earning his Ph.D., the future chair of NIU’s Department of Biological Sciences came across two lines of cells from a cancerous liver. On a whim, he measured the rate of glutamine import into those cancer cells – and was stunned to find it was about 10 times higher than normal.

That observation changed the course of his life’s work. It also led to the identification of two specific amino acid transporters that are elevated in a wide spectrum of primary human cancers and aid tumor growth.

For the past two decades, Bode has been working to develop highly targeted therapies to slow the uptake of glutamine and other nutrients that feed cancer.

In advance of his “Combatting Cancer in the 21st Century” STEM Café event in March, he took time to answer questions from the NIU Newsroom – questions that obviously touch many people deeply. The Q&A far outpaced any other story posted in 2015, continuing to draw many of its views several months after it first was posted.