David W. Woessner, PhD, with his sponsor Charles G. Mulligan, MBBS, MD, at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, seeks to identify genetic changes that cause the most common type of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). There are multiple subtypes of ALL, each with distinct genetic changes that drive disease development and influence success or failure of treatment. He has sequenced the genomes of over 1000 tumor cells from children with ALL and identified several hundred repeatedly mutated genes, for which the functions are currently unknown. He will test the role of these changes in ALL. A better understanding of which genetic changes significantly impact cancer behavior in ALL will provide new targets for existing therapy and/or avenues for development of new drug treatments for children with ALL.
Mark W. Zimmerman, PhD, with his sponsor A. Thomas Look, MD, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, studies neuroblastoma, a type of brain tumor that remains a challenging and often devastating condition despite many recent advances in its clinical management. In high-risk neuroblastoma tumors, which account for 15% of all childhood cancer deaths, the CHD5 gene is often deleted and its loss is associated with poor prognosis. CHD5 has emerged as a very attractive target for potential anti-cancer therapeutics. His research elucidating the CHD5 pathway will lead to significant advances in our understanding of how CHD5 functions as a tumor suppressor and the potential ways it could be targeted for anti-cancer therapy.
"These are some of the best young scientists working in pediatric research today, and they're at a critical juncture in their careers," says William Carroll, MD, chair of the Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Committee and Director of the New York University Cancer Institute. "They need our financial support, and we nee
|Contact: Yung S. Lie, PhD|
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation