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Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awards prestigious fellowships to 17 top young scientists
Date:6/19/2009

New York, NY-- The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting exceptional early career researchers and innovative cancer research, named 17 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its May 2009 Fellowship Award Committee review. The recipients of this prestigious, three-year award are outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators across the country. The Fellowship is specifically intended to encourage the nation's most promising young scientists to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding ($140,000 each) to work on innovative projects.

Of the 17 new Fellows, six will be named HHMI Fellows in recognition of support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which will fund $1M in Damon Runyon Fellowships each year.

May 2009 Damon Runyon Fellows:

Orkun Akin, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with his sponsor S. Lawrence Zipursky, PhD, at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, is studying cell motility in the context of the developing nervous system. He aims to understand how external cues are coupled to changes in the actin cytoskeleton. As cell motility is essential for normal development as well as for cancer metastasis, new insights into the basic biology of motility carry the promise of new therapies and approaches to cancer treatment.

Yimon Aye, PhD, with her sponsor JoAnne Stubbe, PhD, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is studying the mechanism and regulation of ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs), enzymes that play an essential role in making deoxynucleotides (the "building blocks" of DNA). RNRs are overexpressed in cancer cells, making them an ideal target for cancer drugs. Her work will focus on understanding the mechanism of a new drug called Triapine, which may prevent the replication of tumor cells and is
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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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