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Montana Tech researcher, Andrea Stierle and professor, Don Stierle get $650,000 NIH grant to study Berkeley Pit microbes for cancer cure

April 15, 2009View for printing

A Montana Tech researcher and her professor husband have received a $650,000 federal grant to study whether microbes that live in the toxic Berkeley Pit might produce compounds capable of fighting cancer.

Andrea Stierle and Don Stierle, who have for years studied the microbes, received the National Institutes of Health grant to study whether those microbes might be medically useful.

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Finding a cure

Tech professors land grant to study organisms in pit

By Nick Gevock

From the toxic wasteland of the Berkeley Pit, Andrea Stierle is hoping to find a way to fight cancer.

The chemistry researcher at Montana Tech and her husband Don Stierle, a professor of chemistry there, have for years studied the microbes that live in the depths of the rusty looking water. Just proving that something — anything — could survive in water as acidic as vinegar and riddled with high levels of arsenic, lead and cadmium was incredible.

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