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Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation grants prestigious awards to 17 young scientists
Date:1/28/2013

ston, Massachusetts, is studying the signaling mechanisms that mediate cancer cachexia, a wasting disorder of adipose fat tissue and skeletal muscle that leads to profound weight loss. Up to 50% of cancer patients suffer from cachexia, which reduces quality of life, limits treatment options and shortens survival time. Identification of tumor-derived factors that regulate this process could lead to new therapeutic strategies to prevent cancer cachexia.

Chih-Yung Lee, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with his sponsor Geraldine Seydoux, PhD, at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, is studying how the first germ cell is specified during embryonic development. Several characteristics of germ cells are reminiscent of cancer cells, including rapid proliferation and immortality; proteins expressed specifically in the germline are often misexpressed in tumors. Identifying new genes and pathways required for germ cell development will provide insights into how re-activation of germ cell fate is triggered during tumorigenesis.

Wenyu Luo, PhD, with her sponsor Yuh-Nung Jan, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, California, is exploring the neuronal and genetic basis of stress-induced depression-like behavior in Drosophila. Loss of resilience to stress leads to depression and other mental disorders, which may increase the risk of other severe diseases including liver and lung cancers. This research may develop new stress intervention approaches to improve quality of life in cancer patients.

Maria Mihaylova, PhD [Robert Black Fellow] with her sponsor David M. Sabatini, MD, PhD, at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, aims to understand how aberrant nutrient sensing can lead to metabolic reprogramming and transformation. Utilizing a mouse model, she will examine the re-wiring of cellular metabolism in intestinal stem cells in response to dietary changes. She hopes that these studies will lead to insights ab
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Contact: Yung S. Lie, PhD
yung.lie@damonrunyon.org
212-455-0521
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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