Assistant professor gets awarded a half million dollars to fight skin cancer from HPV

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — A K-State assistant professor now has a half million dollars to conduct research.

The Department of Defense awarded Nicholas Wallace the grant to fight skin cancer originating from the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. The professor says there are between 250 and 350 forms of the virus — only 9 are prevented from a vaccine and transferred through sex.

Researchers say, 85% to 95% of the world has the virus growing on their skin – which could lead to cancer.

“We’re taking proteins from these viruses — the ones that we think are likely to cause cancer,” Wallace said. “We’re putting them into skin cells. We’re exposing those skin cells to the equivalent of sunlight.”

Wallace hopes his work will help prevent all skin related issues caused by HPV.

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