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Damon Runyon grants prestigious fellowship awards to 17 top young scientists
Date:7/9/2013

into each of two daughter cells. Mistakes in this process are implicated in cancer, as well as birth defects and miscarriage. She will mechanically disrupt dividing cells and then detect how these perturbations affect the forces generated during division.

Wenwen Fang, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with her sponsor David P. Bartel, PhD, at theWhitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, aims to understand the mechanism and regulation of microRNA biogenesis. MicroRNAs function to regulate gene expression and their disruption contributes to the initiation and progression of cancer. She will combine high-throughput sequencing techniques and biochemistry to examine the recognition and processing of microRNA precursors, which may ultimately contribute to more effective cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Jessica P. Lao, PhD, with her sponsor David P. Toczyski, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, California, focuses on genome instability and altered metabolism, which are common characteristics of cancer. The "DNA damage checkpoint" detects and repairs DNA damage to maintain genomic integrity and has also been implicated in regulating metabolism through an unknown mechanism. Identifying metabolic targets of the DNA damage checkpoint will advance our knowledge of the underlying signaling pathway and provide additional targets for cancer therapy.

Steven Lin, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with his sponsor Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, at the University of California, Berkeley, California, investigates the molecular mechanism by which the bacterial enzyme Cas9 targets and cleaves double-stranded DNA. His goal is to provide a detailed understanding of Cas9 mechanism and structure, ultimately aiming to develop Cas9 into a versatile genome engineering tool for further studies of cancer-associated genes.

Xiaoxiao Shawn Liu, PhD, with his sponsor Philip A. Beachy, PhD, at Stanford University, Stanford, California, focuses on the Hedgehog
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Contact: Yung S. Lie
yung.lie@damonrunyon.org
212-455-0521
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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