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Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awards $3.45 million to 9 top young clinical investigators
Date:6/21/2011

rstood. Certain genetic changes have been linked to Ewing's sarcoma: a specific translocation (joining of two different chromosome parts) and microsatellites (series of repeating DNA sequences). Another reported observation is increased development of hernias in patients with this disease.

Dr. Schiffman, a pediatric oncologist, is interested in understanding the underlying molecular genetics of Ewing's sarcoma. He will take a genetic epidemiologic approach to studying the disease, by examining the genes of parent-child trios: patients with Ewing's sarcoma and their parents. He will examine inheritance of DNA microsatellites and genetic changes associated with hernia development. This study will identify novel genetic risk factors for Ewing's sarcoma, which can be used for future preventative and therapeutic strategies.

Dr. Schiffman works under the mentorship of Stephen L. Lessnick, MD, PhD, at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Zsofia K. Stadler, MD

Heritable factors are an important determinant of cancer risk. At present, a large portion of the genetic basis of cancer predisposition remains unexplained.

Dr. Stadler is a clinical geneticist whose research goal is to determine the genetic basis of "sporadic" cancers in young adults. She will be testing the hypothesis that de novo (spontaneous) chromosomal changes in the genome are associated with testicular germline cancer. High-resolution sequencing technology will be used to compare the whole genomes of patients to those of their parents, with the goal of identifying rare genetic variants associated with cancer susceptibility. This approach represents a new paradigm in cancer genetics, which could have broad applications in terms of cancer risk stratification and cancer prevention.

Dr. Stadler works under the mentorship of Kenneth Offit, MD, MPH, and Michael H. Wigler, PhD, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N
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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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