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Scripps Research cancer biology department awarded more than $8 million in new research grants
Date:4/22/2009

recapitulate these through pharmaceutical approaches for thymus regeneration therapy.

  • Cleveland received a five-year grant (approximately $2.1 million) from NIH/NCI to study the regulation and role of the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (Odc). This enzyme plays key roles in cancer and is directly regulated by cancer-causing Myc oncoproteins and also by mutated Ras oncogenes, which together are activated in more than 80 percent of all human tumors. This new study focuses on defining the various roles of Odc in regulating the development of lymphoma, lung, and breast cancer, and determining how Odc regulates the proliferative response induced by oncogenes. Cleveland hopes that these studies will reveal new targets for cancer prevention and treatment.

  • Jun-Li Luo, Ph.D., received a three-year grant (approximately $430,000) from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the interaction between cancer stem cells and immune/inflammatory cells during the growth and progression of prostate cancer. In a study published in a 2004 issue of the journal Cancer Cell, Luo and colleagues developed a novel strategy to fight the disease, turning the body's inflammatory response, which under normal circumstances encourages tumor growth, into a cancer-killing machine. In 2007 Luo published an article in Nature that established links between the nuclear factor NF-κB and the spread of prostate cancer in animal models.

In addition to these funds, investigators in the Department of Cancer Biology were awarded a four-year grant (approximately $1.6 million) from NIH's National Institute of General Medical Science to study the structural dynamics of vinculin, a cytoskeletal protein that plays key roles in controlling cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion complexes, as well as cell migration and cancer metastasis.


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Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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