Li He, PhD, with his sponsor Norbert Perrimon, PhD, at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, is studying how organ size and quality are controlled. Cell competition is a phenomenon by which cells possessing unequal "fitness" compete with each other during tissue growth or regeneration. Activation of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the "loser" cells in turn triggers compensatory proliferation of the "winners." This process can eliminate tumor cells at an early stage; however, it may also be hijacked by cancer cells to invade the healthy tissue. His goal is to generate a comprehensive understanding of signals that govern this process.
Melanie Issigonis, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with her sponsor Phillip A. Newmark, PhD, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, studies the mechanisms by which somatic stem cells produce germ cells, the cells that give rise to either egg or sperm. Germ cells and cancer cells share several characteristics such as immortalization (transformation) and migration (metastasis). A wide range of cancers arise when germ cell developmental pathways are erroneously activated in somatic cells. Identifying the processes underlying germ cell specification and development will help elucidate the factors that trigger misexpression of germ cell genes in cancer cells.
Shijing Luo, PhD [Miles S. Nadal Fellow] with her sponsor Elaine V. Fuchs, PhD, at The Rockefeller Univer
|Contact: Yung S. Lie, Ph.D.|
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation