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Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation grants prestigious awards to 20 top young scientists
Date:1/13/2014

work will focus on identifying and characterizing the proteins cleaved by Caspase-8, which may provide additional therapeutic avenues to activate T cells to target malignant cells in cancer patients.

Ankur Jain, PhD, with his sponsor Ronald D. Vale, PhD, at University of California, San Francisco, California, focuses on understanding how the level of mRNA species in the cell is regulated. Disruption of these regulatory processes can lead to cancer initiation and progression. These processes are carried out at discrete cytoplasmic non-membrane bound organelles called processing bodies (P-bodies). He aims to develop a molecular understanding of P-body architecture, assembly rules, and their role in gene regulation.

Matthew P. Miller, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with his sponsor Susan Biggins, PhD, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, is investigating how cells ensure the correct partitioning of genetic material during cell division. Errors in this process occur in nearly all tumor cells and are the leading cause of miscarriages and congenital birth defects in humans. He is using novel techniques to isolate and examine the physical binding properties of the molecules that mediate this process. The goal of his work is to determine the molecular mechanisms that direct genome partitioning during cell division and understand how this process becomes error-prone during tumorigenesis.

Antoine Molaro, PhD, with his sponsor Harmit S. Malik, PhD, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, studies how an ancient "evolutionary arms race" between Krab-Zinc-Finger genes (KZNFs) and DNA sequence elements called retrotransposons has shaped transcriptional networks of stem cells and pluripotency. Because many cancers dedifferentiate to a stem cell-like state, refined knowledge about how KZNFs act may prove essential for the development of new cancer drugs.

Gabriela C. Monsalve, PhD [Robert Black Fellow] with
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Contact: Yung S. Lie, Ph.D.
yung.lie@damonrunyon.org
212-455-0521
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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