Sackler Family Cancer Biology Awards Announced

The second annual Sackler Family Cancer Biology Research Award recipients were announced today. This year's awards recognize:

  • Chi Luo, Genetics PhD Student and his adviser, Philip Hinds, PhD
  • Maja Sedic, Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology PhD Student and her adviser, Charlotte Kuperwasser, PhD

The award provides funds to support novel avenues of research designed to advance our understanding of cancer and lead to improved approaches to battle the disease. The work selected for funding focuses on two cancers that are common and difficult to treat, especially in advanced stages.

The work in the Hinds lab focuses on melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and seeks to understand the way signaling circuits are activated in the tumors. They are particularly interested the way the AKT kinase functions in the tumors and the possibility that it links to MMP1 and influences metastatic growth of the tumors. A long range goal is to identify possible therapeutic targets that would allow control of the metastatic phase of the disease.

The work in the Kuperwasser lab focuses on breast cancer, the most common cancer affecting women. The presence of mutations in BRCA1 increases the risk of tumor development. Building on preliminary work identifying BRAC1 functions that are unique to breast epithelial cells, these studies will focus on identifying the mechanism by which the phenotype is controlled.

Research Spotlight

Read up on the research of our featured PhD student and faculty member in our Research Spotlight.