Algoma University professor recognized with rising star award

Nirosha Murugan, an associate professor in the university's biology department, is receiving the ministry's rising star award, which is given in recognition of innovative research and excellence in teaching. (Mike McDonald/CTV News)

A professor at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie is being recognized by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities for her research in health sciences.

Nirosha Murugan, an associate professor in the university's biology department, is receiving the ministry's rising star award, which is given in recognition of innovative research and excellence in teaching.

Murugan said her research is focussed on cancer – specifically finding a less invasive means of treating it.

"What we're trying to do is try to develop an innovative approach to treating cancer," she said.

"Instead of trying to target its cell processes for death, we're trying to just change its fate, so it can go back into its healthy state. That's the overall research program that we're focused on."

Murugan said cancer is an illness that hits close to home for her. Her hope is to move medical science beyond traditional chemotherapy to treat cancer, since chemo includes a number of side-effects.

She added she is humbled to be recognized by the province as an emerging scholar.