Dr. Matthew Gdovin

AIRED: Monday, January 23, 2017– 11 am PST

SPECIAL GUEST: Dr. Matthew Gdovin


Dr. Matthew Gdovin’s lab is researching and conducting clinical trials using a therapy that combines a drug and a specific wavelength of light that activates the drug which is called, “photodynamic therapy.” The photodynamic therapy protocol developed by Dr. Gdovin’s team triggers the cell to commit suicide, a processes known as “apoptosis.”

Unlike the devastating effects of more traditional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy, the lab’s studies conclude that the compound without the light is not only not toxic, the light without the compound is benign. The result is cell death is limited only to the areas containing the compound and receiving the light.

So far, the therapy has been successful in a less aggressive breast cancer, an aggressive triple negative breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Amazingly, 70% – 98% of the targeted cancer cells underwent apoptosis within two hours of treatment. Next, the team will test their photodynamic therapy in other cancer cells lines including, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, and glioblastoma.

Dr. Gdovin will describe to our listeners the magnitude of their initial findings so far which demonstrate a significant reduction in tumor growth that in turn nearly doubles of survival time after receiving a single treatment in mice bearing triple negative breast cancer tumors. He will also share how hope is on the way and the “next steps” with the FDA and clinical trials as soon an IND is granted.


Matthew Gdovin is an assistant professor of physiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  After receiving his Ph.D. in physiology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, he moved on to do a post-doctoral fellowship at The University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine in Canada, where he developed a novel model to study the developmental neural control of respiration.

In 1997, Gdovin returned to UTSA as an assistant professor of physiology.  During his time at UTSA, Gdovin has become an accomplished teacher, mentor, and advocate for the advancement of poor and underserved students in the sciences.

Gdovin has received 10 teaching awards, including the Sloan Foundation’s “Faculty Mentor of the Year” in 2007, and The University of Texas System Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013.  Gdovin is a reviewer for 5 journals, including the Journal of Applied Physiology and Respiration Physiology; he also reviews grant applications for the Ford Foundation Fellowships, as well as the NIH and NSF.

Since his return to Texas in 1997, the NIH has awarded Gdovin over three million dollars to advance knowledge in the field of physiology, respiratory control, and neurobiology.  Gdovin has focused on understanding the neural development of respiration, with an emphasis on CO2 detection.

Gdovin’s research currently encompasses a plethora of scientific fields.  His research in the developmental neural control of respiration is focused on furthering the understanding of neurological respiratory disease.  In order to study respiration, his laboratory utilizes a technique to focally manipulate cellular pH in neurons.  Simultaneous to the respiratory research, Gdovin has also developed the pH manipulation technique as a cancer therapeutic.

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