Reg Penner and Greg Weiss, UCI Professors, Boost Home Pregnancy-Like Tests for Cancer

Reg Penner and Greg Weiss, UCI Professors, Boost Home Pregnancy-Like Tests for Cancer

Two UC Irvine professors called "superstars" for, among other things, working to develop the equivalent of a home pregnancy test for cancer, kick off the School of Physical Sciences' 2013-14 Breakfast Lecture Series next Tuesday, Oct. 8.

"Benevolent Viruses Working to Detect Cancer" is the title of the lecture by Reg Penner and Greg Weiss of the UCI Department of Chemistry, but it just as easily could be called "Pee on a Stick to See if You're Cancer-Free."

They'll explain (spoiler alert!) that while your chances of dying from cancer today are 88 percent as high as they were in 1975, over the past 38 years treatment has improved so greatly that many cancers can be completely cured if they are discovered early, in stages 0 or 1.

That's why the eggheads are striving to improve those odds even further by developing a new technology for making cheap, disposable and highly sensitive biosensors capable of detecting cancer in urine and blood. Think of a peed upon home pregnancy test, only one that will leave no one happy with a positive result.

Penner and Weiss are convinced such a test will immediately be able to tell the person whether they could have early stage cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidneys or perhaps just a urinary tract infection.

Speaking of cranberry juice, a free continental breakfast is served from 7:30-8 a.m., then the lecture runs from 8-9 a.m. at the UCI Student Center's Pacific Ballroom. You're asked to RSVP at by Wednesday (tomorrow). Parking will be available in the Student Center Parking Structure on the corner of Pereira Drive and West Peltason. Fees are $2 per hour or $10 per day.

If you have problems registering online or require more information, email Tatiana Arizaga at

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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