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TGen-led team is 1 of 7 selected for $1 million skin-cancer grants
Date:8/3/2009

PHOENIX, Ariz. Aug. 1, 2009 An international scientific team led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has received a $1 million grant to study skin cancer from the Melanoma Research Alliance.

The grant was made to a team led by Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen's President and Research Director, who is the Team Lead among the Principal Investigators in the two-year study: Identification of Novel Melanoma Risk Genes Using High-throughput Genomics.

"The world-wide team of investigators on this project has worked together for a decade to identify individuals and families who are at increased risk for this deadly disease. While the team includes investigators from Europe and Australia, the research is particularly important to Arizonans who are disproportionately affected,'' Dr. Trent said.

Dr. Kevin Brown, an Associate Investigator in TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, also described the TGen-led team as part of an ongoing collaboration with the International Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL), which has identified families worldwide that are predisposed to getting skin cancer.

"There are situations in which there is a strong family history of melanoma. If you can identify the genes, or mutations, that put people at risk for melanoma, you can implement targeted screening or prevention efforts,'' Dr. Brown said.

"Identifying the genes that mediate development of melanoma will give you an understanding of the basic biology, and conceivably could give you some clues into ways that you could do chemo prevention, or other things, for people who are at strong risk of getting melanoma,'' Dr. Brown said.

The other Principal Investigators in the TGen-led research are: Dr. Nicolas Hayward of the Queensland (Australia) Institute of Medical Research; Dr. Goran Jonsson of Lund (Sweden) University; and Dr. Graham Mann of the University of Sydney (Australia).

Arizona's non-Hispanic Caucasian
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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