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

her sponsor Keith R. Yamamoto, PhD, at University of California, San Francisco, California, is studying glucocorticoids (GCs), naturally occurring steroid hormones that can be used therapeutically to kill certain tumor cells. Aggressive blood cancers like lymphomas and leukemias are commonly treated with chemotherapy drugs, including GCs. Unfortunately, some patients do not respond to GCs. To improve the treatment of patients with GC-resistant cancers, and to better understand how GCs destroy cancerous cells, she aims to understand how and where they are absorbed in the body.

Shruti Naik, PhD, with her sponsor Elaine V. Fuchs, PhD, at The Rockefeller University, New York, New York, is studying the interactions between immune cells and adult skin tissue stem cells in an effort to understand the how this crosstalk drives epithelial disorders, including chronic inflammation and cancer. Because adult tissue stem cells are long-lived cells that continually replenish tissues throughout an organism's lifetime, they represent ideal points of therapeutic intervention. Identification of inflammation-induced molecular changes in skin stem cells that drive epithelial dysfunction will facilitate the development of therapies for various epithelial inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Hanjing Peng, PhD, with her sponsor Jun O. Liu, PhD, at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, seeks to identify compounds that inhibit the proteasome, the protein degradation machinery in the cell that maintains the balance of cell growth and death. Inhibitors that regulate proteasome function are potential anticancer drugs. She has designed and constructed a synthetic library of compounds in search of potent proteasome inhibitors. She hopes to discover new anticancer drug candidates with lower toxicity or side effects than current drugs.

Erin F. Simonds, PhD, with his sponsor William A. Weiss, MD, PhD, at University of California, San Francisc
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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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