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

man neural stem cells. Because the development of the human brain involves many of the same processes increased proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis that become dysregulated in brain tumors, these genes with specific neural stem cell expression may serve as therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers of brain tumor stem cells that initiate glioblastoma and other cancers.

Jens C. Schmidt, PhD [Merck Fellow] with his sponsor Thomas R. Cech, PhD, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, focuses on understanding how the enzyme telomerase maintains the length of the ends of human chromosomes. This process is crucial to prevent chromosome fusion events, a strong driving force of cancer. In addition, 90% of all cancers require telomerase activity for survival, making it a potential target for cancer therapy. He will use a combination of biophysical, biochemical and cell biological approaches to elucidate how telomerase is recruited to chromosome ends and to identify potential inhibitors of this process.

Eric L. Van Nostrand, PhD [Merck Fellow] with his sponsor Eugene Yeo, PhD, at the University of California, San Diego, California, aims to understand how alterations in RNA processing can lead to cancer development and progression. He will identify RNA processing factors that drive medulloblastoma brain tumor growth and proliferation, and use genomics techniques to profile their regulatory targets. This network will both serve as a tool for understanding basic mechanisms of neuronal and medulloblastoma development and progression, and a means to identify critical modulators of tumor development that can serve as targets for future therapeutics.

Jakob von Moltke, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with his sponsor Richard Locksley, MD, at the University of California, San Francisco, California, studies how the immune system detects bacteria and parasitic worms. Emerging evidence suggests that these same immune cells also respond to tissue damage i
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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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