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U.S. Patent Issued to TUCVM Researcher for Breast Cancer Research

September 15, 2023

Contact:  Anissa Riley, College of Veterinary Medicine

Principal investigator Dr. Deepa Bedi collaborates with lab assistant Dr. Alhegne Yirsaw in the college’s Nanotechnology and Biomarker Discovery laboratory.
Principal investigator Dr. Deepa Bedi collaborates with
lab assistant Dr. Alhegne Yirsaw in the college’s
Nanotechnology and Biomarker Discovery laboratory.

TUSKEGEE, ALABAMA – Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine researcher Dr. Deepa Bedi was issued a United States Patent for her methods for identifying aggressive breast cancer cells.

Patent No. 11624748B2 was issued to Dr. Bedi, Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, because of her breast cancer research, particularly triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), one of the highly aggressive subtypes with no targeted therapy.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. About 30% of all newly diagnosed cancers in women each year are breast cancer. According to, about 13% (about 1 in 8) of U.S. women are going to develop invasive breast cancer in the course of their life.  The increasing frequency of breast cancer is widely recognized.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes Breast cancer as a modern epidemic with it affecting one in eight American women.

These startling statistics involving breast cancer having epidemic status is one of the reasons why Dr. Bedi’s lab focuses diligently on research in this area.

“In my lab, we have developed novel peptides that can specifically recognize breast cancer cells that are highly aggressive and metastatic,” she said. “These peptides can recognize the cancer cells at a stage when a cancer cell is leaving its primary site of location and is ready to invade distant organs.

“If it is diagnosed and detected at an early stage, it can be treated with prolonged progression free survival,” she said. “However, detection can be missed at an early stage and the disease becomes metastatic and overall survival decreases. Therefore, we aim to increase the detection sensitivity of the metastatic cells by using these EMT-specific peptides as detection agents for highly metastatic disease.”

Dr. Bedi in lab.
Dr. Bedi in lab.

“We are proud of the innovative work our researchers here in the College of Veterinary Medicine are engaged in as they continuously demonstrate that Tuskegee University has a record of accomplishments that make an impact on the world,” said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Dr. Bedi and her team are to be commended for the scientific contributions to advance innovations in breast cancer research that have led to this outstanding discovery and U.S. patent.”

Renowned for her expertise and dedication, Dr. Bedi is a well-funded researcher specializing in health disparity research. She has emerged as a national leader in the field of cancer health disparities, boasting an extensive history of mentoring and collaborations with fellow researchers at Tuskegee University, along with her steadfast commitment to guiding and nurturing minority trainees. With an unwavering passion, Dr. Bedi has been at the forefront of breast cancer disparity research at Tuskegee University for over nine years. Her pioneering work has garnered substantial funding from a diverse array of organizations including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of General Medical Sciences  (NIGMS) and Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama (BCRFA).

“Dr Bedi and her team are conducting cutting-edge research into how to detect and treat types of cancer very difficult to treat,” said Dr. Temesgen Samuel, Associate Dean for Research and Advanced Studies. “The current patent on unique molecular tools and technology to detect metastasis-prone breast cancer cells is an example of products of high-quality creative research done by faculty in the college. TUCVM faculty-led research in the past 10 years has led to seven Tuskegee University patents, which we are proud to claim.”

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