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$5 million awarded in Sixth Starr Cancer Consortium Grant Competition
Date:2/1/2013

Luo, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, is the principal investigator of the research project "Define Oncogenic Mechanisms of Protein Methyltransferases SETDB1 and SUV39H1 in Melanoma." This study is expected to unravel the oncogenic roles of two PKMTs (SETDB1 and SUV39H1) recently identified as key players in BRAF melanoma. These findings will allow researchers to manipulate the downstream epigenetic targets of PKMTs for novel diagnosis and cancer therapy. The goal is to study the molecular targets of PKMTs and define the downstream oncogenic events through in vitro cell-based and in vivo zebrafish melanoma models. This research may have a direct impact on diagnosis, early intervention, treatment or even prevention of melanoma. Co-principal investigators include Dr. Steven Gross, Dr. Yariv Houvras and Dr. Ari Melnick from Weill Cornell.

Dr. Gary Schwartz, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, is the principal investigator for "Therapeutic Targeting of IDH1 and IDH2 Mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Chondrosarcoma." Recurrent somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase I (IDH1 and IDH2) genes have been identified in gliomas, acute myeloid leukemias (AML), cholangiocarcinoma and most recently in cartilaginous neoplasms. Mutations in these genes lead to impaired ability of IDH1 and IDH2. The goal of this study is to gain knowledge of the mechanisms of transformation by IDH mutations to facilitate the development of new targeted drugs against IDH1 and IDH2 mutant cancers including chondrosarcoma and AML. Researchers aim to elucidate both cell-type specific epigenetic signatures and reveal deeper insights into the epigenetic, reversible mechanisms underlying disease initiation and progression in IDH mutant malignancies. Co-principal investigators include Dr. Ross Levine of Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Dr. Ari Melnick of Weill Cornell.

The Starr Cancer Consortium is intended largely to support critical mass, collaborative projects with the potential
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Contact: Lauren Woods
Law2014@med.cornell.edu
646-317-7401
Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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