Four cancer researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) have received a total of $1.14 million from Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to study the nature, development and spread of breast cancer. These are the organization’s only research and training awards given to scientists in San Diego for 2008.
“We are grateful to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for supporting our cancer center scientists as they strive to better understand the complexities of cancer,” said Moores UCSD Cancer Center director Dennis Carson, M.D. “Our efforts continue to focus on moving our research discoveries out of the laboratory and to the bedside to help our patients.”
The four grants, which will support basic research and training in the development, spread and potential treatment of breast cancer, include:
- Randall S. Johnson, Ph.D., professor of biology, has received $600,000 for a grant titled, “Hypoxic Response and Inflammation: Role in Breast Cancer Progression.” Johnson’s research will focus on the relationship between low oxygen levels in tumors, inflammation and breast cancer progression.
- Marilyn Farquhar, Ph.D., professor and chair of cellular and molecular medicine, received $180,000 for a grant titled, “The Role of Giv/Girdin and G Proteins in Metastatic Progression of Breast Cancer.” Farquhar’s team will study the role of a specific group of proteins in the spread of breast cancer. The funding will support research by postdoctoral fellow Mikel-Garcia Marcos, Ph.D.
- Michael Karin, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and pathology in UC San Diego’s Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, received $180,000 to support a grant titled, “Role of lkk/Nf-kappab/BMi-1 in Mammary Carcinogenesis and Metastasis.” The work will focus on a group of enzymes and how they potentially affect the development of breast cancer and its spread. The funding will support research by postdoctoral fellow Weizhou Zhang, Ph.D.
- Michael G. Rosenfeld, M.D., professor of medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has been awarded $180,000 to support a grant titled, “Tumor-Associated Macrophage-Mediated Inflammatory Responses in Serm “Resistant” Breast Cancer as a Therapeutic Target.” The group will study the role of inflammation in treatment-resistant breast cancer, and as a possible target for therapy. The funding will support research by postdoctoral fellow Chunru Lin, Ph.D.
According to Komen, this round of grants is the largest funding commitment for breast cancer research by a single nonprofit organization, with 81 universities and hospitals in 27 states and five countries receiving support. During the past 25 years, Komen for the Cure has raised and distributed $1.2 billion for research and community health programs. Komen is pledging to invest another $2 billion during the next 10 years.
The UCSD Moores Cancer Center is one of the nation’s 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, combining research, clinical care and community outreach to advance the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer.
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