University Collaborating With Israeli Cancer Research Company - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

University Collaborating With Israeli Cancer Research Company

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The University of Nevada, Reno, is collaborating with an international company who is in the business of cancer treatment. They will be investing millions of dollars in better equipment at the College of Science.

Inside the Nevada Terawatt Facility in Stead, students and technicians use some of the most high-tech equipment in the business.

“We have several different types of machines, pulse-power accelerators that can deliver energy in very short time periods,” described director of the Terawatt Facility, Aaron Covington.

There's a coming new venture with Israeli company HIL Applied Medical who is pouring millions of dollars into bringing UNR's "cheetah laser" to its full potential. They hope to find new ways to deliver proton therapy for cancer patients that is smaller, more effective and less expensive. 

“This might scale into small and medium size hospitals like the ones we have in our local community here.”

Less than 5 percent of patients around the world have access to proton-therapy cancer treatment because equipment can cost upwards of $100 million. With this collaboration, they think they could get costs down to $1 million so it's a feasible option for more hospitals. 

“It’s an example of a university-industry collaboration where the university can help the industry partner actually develop a product that will end up helping people,” said Ellen Purpus, Assistant Vice President of Enterprise and Innovation.

Physics students there are looking forward to all the opportunities that will come from having even better equipment. Moreover, the satisfaction of knowing they're making a difference in the lives of people fighting cancer.  

“When it comes to laser plasma interactions there is a plethora of different problems that we can solve with that,” said graduate research assistant, Kyle Swanson. “Solving problems, working hard and making the future better and brighter.”

Researchers from HIL Applied Medical will visit Reno often to conduct tests alongside Terawatt Facility technicians. As they move forward, the company anticipates creating more jobs in Reno.

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