Fifty Making a Difference Profile: Marie H. Hanigan, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Article excerpt

Dr. Marie H. Hanigan's love of science began when she was just a young child. By the time she was in high school, she knew she wanted to work in cancer research.

I knew it was a serious problem and thought that I could make an important contribution in that field, said Hanigan, head of the OU Cancer Center Cancer Biology Program and associate professor of cell biology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

She has developed and maintained an actively funded research laboratory for 15 years.

Within my laboratory, we have discovered new information about tumor development and cancer therapy, which has resulted in 40 publications in scientific literature, she said. The laboratory has provided training for students. It has also provided high-quality jobs and contributed to the economy of Oklahoma by bringing federal money to the state.

Her most recent success was a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand her research on Cisplatin, a drug used in chemotherapy. Since 1986, she has received research grants totaling more than $3.6 million from the National Cancer Institute, The American Cancer Society, Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and others.

Prior to coming to Oklahoma in 1999, Hanigan was on the faculty at the University of Virginia. She received her bachelor's degree from Duke University and her doctorate from the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin, where she also completed her postdoctoral fellowship.

At the OU Health Sciences Center, she teaches medical and graduate students, chairs the Department of Cell Biology Graduate Examination Committee and the College of Medicine Student Appeals Committee. …