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Student researchers seek to develop new therapies for cancer
Date:5/31/2012

HOUSTON, May 31, 2012 Four University of Houston (UH) students are well on their way to emerging cancer research careers upon achieving significant milestones this spring in their work toward new therapies for prostate and breast cancer.

All studying at the UH Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling (CNRCS), these students are examining what allows a person's DNA to be read and expressed, which is vital in developing treatments for cancer. Established in 2009, the CNRCS is one of the focal points of the UH Health initiative, with its researchers involved in examining the many functions and behaviors of nuclear receptors, a class of proteins that regulate genes in response to hormones.

Three students studying prostate cancer in assistant professor Daniel Frigo's lab recently were selected for a trio of awards. As a principal investigator at the CNRCS, Frigo leads the research technicians, postdoctoral fellows and students in his lab to pursue a better understanding of the function of nuclear receptors in cancer through interdisciplinary research.

"We emphasize hands-on student participation at the center and provide training opportunities for select graduate and undergraduate students," said Frigo, who supervised all three award recipients. "These awards recognize the drive of these students and are significant accomplishments in their emerging cancer research careers."

Graduate student Jayantha Tennakoon, whose work focuses on examining how the class of steroid hormones called androgens promote prostate cancer, received an Outstanding Abstract Award for ENDO 2012, the upcoming 94th Annual Meeting and Expo of The Endocrine Society, which will be held this summer in Houston. He's most interested in how androgen, which controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics, fuels the spread and growth of cancer cells. By examining the cell signaling pathways, Tennakoon hopes to identify the specific m
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Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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