UACC researcher Natalia Ignatenko, PhD awarded $1.6 million grant

Natalia Ignatenko, PhD
Natalia Ignatenko, PhD

Natalia Ignatenko, PhD, has been awarded $1.6 million by the NIH National Cancer Institute to study the role of Kallikrein 6 in colon cancer.

Dr. Ignatenko is a Research Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University Of Arizona Cancer Center and College of Medicine.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third-most common cancer in the United States. Screening for colon cancer has the ability to reduce mortality from this disease. Many kallikreins have been identified as promising diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarkers for several cancer sites, including ovarian, breast and prostate. In colon cancer, KLK6 expression is likely to be involved in tumor progression and metastasis through degradation of the extracellular matrix.

This proposal will generate data on KLK6 functions and enzymatic activity in colon cancer. It will evaluate KLK6 as a specific molecular marker for colon cancer progression, metastasis and targeted therapy.

Dr. Ignatenko’s collaborators on this grant are Jennifer Barton, PhD, David Besselsen, Patricia Thompson, PhD, and Mark "Marty" Pagel, PhD.

This study is supported by grant number CA157595 from the National Cancer Center of the National Institutes of Health.

-Aug. 13, 2012