Jeff Berryman, Douglas Kneale, Phil Dutton, Datta Pillay, and Siyaram Pandey accept a gift from donor Loknath ChawlaUniversity officials Jeff Berryman, Douglas Kneale, Phil Dutton, Datta Pillay, and Siyaram Pandey accept a gift from donor Loknath Chawla to fund research into natural extracts as cancer treatments.

Fund to support research into natural treatments for cancer

Encouraging results investigating natural treatments for cancer continue to generate support for the work of biochemistry professor Siyaram Pandey and his research team.

Dr. Pandey presented a report on his lab’s progress Tuesday, as part of an annual observance of the birthday of Kevin Couvillon, who lost his battle against cancer in 2010, inspiring his family to support the search for non-toxic cancer treatments.

Pandey has widened his search to include experiments with extracts derived from tropical lilies, dandelion roots, lemongrass, white tea, long pepper, rosemary, and paradise tree. In the past year, his team has produced eight publications.

“We continue to be encouraged and impressed by the promise this research holds for a more humane and enlightened treatment of cancer,” Kevin Couvillon’s mother, Donna Couvillon, said Tuesday. “Our family is proud to be associated with this project.”

Pandey received a donation of $50,000 from UWindsor alumnus Loknath Chawla (BSc 1994, BA 1996) to establish the Loknath Chawla Fund in Natural Extracts Research. The first installment of a $100,000 pledge, the monies will support laboratory supplies and equipment, salaries to support undergraduate and graduate researchers, and other costs.

“I came to Canada 45 years ago and earned two degrees from the University of Windsor while working the night shift full-time at a local manufacturer,” Chawla recalled. “I was only five credits away from my third degree when my mother was diagnosed with cancer.”

He put his studies on hold to care for her until her death in 2004. Now he hopes that his fund will serve as her legacy.

Pandey also announced that he has received a $140,000 grant from the Mitacs Accelerate International fund to investigate the interaction of these extracts with drugs used in chemotherapy. Interns will conduct this research in partnership with Synthite Industries, which hopes to market resulting treatments.