​The University of Rochester Medical Center is slated to receive a $770,000 grant to research and develop drugs to prevent radiation damage to the salivary glands for throat and neck cancer patients.

Severe loss of salivary gland function is an outcome of radiation therapy for more than 550,000 patients annually diagnosed with throat and neck cancers worldwide. The funding will to be used to research and develop a drug that would prevent radiation damage and mitigate the effects of the cancer treatment.

The project is led by Danielle Benoit.

“This major federal award is yet another example of the important research happening right here in our community. Rochester is helping lead the world in some of the most groundbreaking medical breakthroughs. Dr. Benoit’s research will help carry that legacy while also playing a big role in helping the hundreds of thousands of people diagnosed with throat and neck cancer every year,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, whose office announced the news.