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

signaling pathway, which plays a central role in embryonic development and tissue regeneration. Dysfunction of this pathway is associated with numerous cancers. He aims to understand how the exterior signal of Hedgehog is transduced across the cell membrane by a membrane protein called Smoothened. A deeper understanding of Hedgehog signal transduction will provide a basis for novel therapies to prevent and inhibit cancers.

Andrew R. Nager, PhD [Fayez Sarofim Fellow] with his sponsor Maxence V. Nachury, PhD, at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, is studying the primary cilium, an organelle that cells use to sense the environment and communicate with other cells. To do so, the primary cilium selectively exchanges signaling molecules with the cell body. He is using cell biology, biochemistry, and biophysics to understand the gate between the primary cilium and the cell body. Because dysfunctions of the primary cilium promote cancer and cause developmental disease, this research is an important new avenue of exploration.

Beverly J. Piggott, PhD, with her sponsor Yuh Nung-Jan, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, California, is exploring the role of ion channels in brain cancer. Ion channels function as a "gate" to regulate the movement of ions (such as sodium and potassium) into and out of the cell. They are essential for proper cell growth and signaling in normal cells, and misregulation or mutations in ion channels have been linked to cancer cell proliferation and metastasis. Her goal is to obtain mechanistic insight into the function of ion channels in brain tumors, which may provide new targets for diagnosis and therapeutic intervention.

Alex Pollen, PhD, with his sponsor Arnold R. Kriegstein, MD, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, California, is using comparative genomics, single cell gene expression, and stem cell biology approaches to study genes uniquely expressed in hu
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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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