TEMPLE (October 29, 2012)--Dr. Alexzander Asea, known for his dedication to breast cancer research, is leaving Temple after living, researching and teaching in the area for the past seven years.
He is moving to Atlanta to head up Morehouse School of Medicine and expand research and testing on a drug that shows promise in the fight against breast cancer.
Cancer survivors and their loved ones gathered this week to thank Asea not only for his time and dedication to the community, but also for his perseverance in finding a cure for cancer.
"It's hard to put it into words," said Renee Owen, a cancer survivor.
"It kind of gets you choked up because he's become such a good friend to us cancer survivors."
Asea has spent the past 15 years working on a cure for breast cancer.
Seven of those years were spent in Temple researching at Scott & White and teaching at Texas A&M Health Science Center.
"He has given all of the women in this area hope knowing that there is a cure out there," Owen said.
Asea's work ethic and optimism have given Owen and several other women in the community so much hope that they started a non-profit group called "The Heart of Texas Purple Cancer Warriors."
The organization aims to help Asea raise funds for his research involving the anti-cancer drug NampEVA and to educate the public about breast cancer.
Asea said he is grateful for the group's dedication.
Their hard work and the community's support have paid off.
NampEVA passed animal testing and is now ready to be tested on humans in clinical trials as soon $5 million is raised.
"In order to get NampEVA to clinical trials, we need to get more exposure," Asea said.
This is Asea's last week in Central Texas.
"It's a loss for our community, but it's not a loss for this group," Owen said.