Discoverer of key role that hyaluronic acid plays in cell migration, and mechanisms that start and stop cancer growth.
Eva Turley studied biology at University of British Columbia, Vancouver. While still a graduate student, she became fascinated with the way cells move. She observed that the medium the cells were in was hyaluronic acid, a substance that tells cells when to move and when to stop. Her insight was to relate this observation to the connection between RAS (a gene that can mutate into cancer) and RHAMM (the receptor that tells the mutant to grow), something most other biologists thought unlikely. She proved in 1995 that hyaluronic acid indeed affects the RHAMM receptor site, and thus must play a key role in cancer cells. In a laboratory experiment with mice, Turley succeeded in getting cancer cells to revert to normal.
Source: Winnipeg Free Press, July 24, 1995
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