AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - The M. Bert Storey Research Building originally opened in 2006. Monday’s grand opening remarks centered on collaboration, connectivity and connectivity and community outreach that this expanded facility - and the people who work here - will bring.
Someone who will benefit from all the resources this new facility offers is Kim Gauldin. She’s had the disease since 2016. Her battle began with back pain.
“They sent me for a CT scan and identified that I had what’s called a pleural effusion, which is, I had more than three liters of fluid in the lining of my lung," Gauldin said.
Doctors identified ovarian cancer cells there and she started treatment.
The main building houses four floors of open concept lab space - where doctors and researchers will be able to share resources, equipment and information. The Connector was built to encourage treatment innovation through collaboration.
“We have a couple of our researchers on the basic science side that have been doing research in an enzyme that’s involved in cancer. The cancer mimics this enzyme and shuts down the immune system so that the body does not reject cancer,” said Dr. Brooks Keel, President of Augusta University and CEO of AU Health System.
Researchers are finding ways to block that enzyme so patients can receive immunotherapy.
Dr. Keel said the search is still on for a director to oversee the Georgia Cancer Center who will lead the effort towards obtaining NCI designation. Starting in January, people from the community will be able to come to the Community Conference Room on the first floor of the facility to learn more about cancer prevention, awareness and research.