Watch: Bikers, blueberries and prostate cancer

Twenty leather-clad bikers crammed into a biology lab in UPEI’s Duffy Science Centre. Far from rowdy, these bikers listened politely as Dr. Rob Hurta explained his research into the effects of blueberry extracts on prostate cancer cells.

The bikers are participants in the TELUS Motorcycle Ride for Dad: an annual fundraiser to support research and awareness projects for prostate cancer.

Dr Hurta is an Associate Professor of Biology. Members of the Ride were on campus the morning of February 16 to donate money that will allow Dr. Hurta’s lab to hire a student and procure materials to further his research.

“Prostate cancer cells exist within a network of different matrix proteins,” explained Dr. Hurta. “In order for them to spread, cancer cells need to activate certain enzymes which allow them to break down this protein network to which they are tethered and which enables the cancer cells to potentially migrate to other parts of the body.”

CBC TV cameras were on hand for the announcement. Watch their report, originally aired on CBC Compass.

At Thursday’s announcement, Dr. Katherine Schultz, Vice-President of Research and Development at UPEI, thanked each participant in the ride for their contribution.

“We’re extremely proud of Dr. Hurta’s research, and grateful for the contribution of each participant in the TELUS Motorcycle Ride for Dad. This contribution allows Dr. Hurta to hire a student to aid him in his research. To each person who took part in the Ride, and to everyone who donated, UPEI offers sincere thanks.”