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URMC Researcher Awarded Highest Honor for Young Investigators

Michelle C. Janelsins, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Michelle C. Janelsins, Ph.D., M.P.H.

The National Institutes of Health’s awarded a University of Rochester cancer researcher their highest honor for young investigators.

Michelle Janelsins, of UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute, recently accepted a 2.3 million dollar grant to continue her research on so-called “Chemo-brain.”

According to Janelsins, about 80% of patients in cancer treatment report memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and mental fogginess related to chemotherapy. The doctor’s research will test the hypothesis that inflammation could be to blame.

“Underlying inflammatory processes may be going on as a result of treatment. In some patients, these may contribute to cognitive issues,” Janelsins explained.

The research could lead to tests of potential therapies or management approaches, including exercise.

Janelsins told WXXI it was personal experiences that led her to choose this field of study.

“I have had family and friends who have struggled with cancer. And I felt very passionate about putting my knowledge to use in an area that I personally cared about.”