Violet, A Young Brain Cancer Victim, Inspires Drug Discovery ‘Project Violet’


Violet, a little girl who died from inoperable brain cancer when she was 11 years old, is the inspiration for a drug discovery project recently launched by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

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Jim Olson: Pediatric brain specialist and launcher of ‘Project Violet’. Photo: Geekwire

“Project Violet” is using crowdfunding to gain community support for developing a new class of anticancer compounds from natural sources such as violets, scorpions, and sunflowers to attack cancer cells without harming healthy cells. The goal of these targeted treatments is to spare patients the harmful side effects of chemotherapy.

The group is involving “citizen scientists” from around the world by enabling them to “adopt” a drug candidate for $100. Participants can choose from 1 of 6 organisms, including violet, scorpion, locust, sunflower, spider, or human, and receive an image of their drug molecule. Investigators will test the drug candidates and, if one fails, it can be replaced by a new one. To learn more about the project and launcher follow here.

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