Four UACC research teams receive funding for translational research pilot projects

Four UACC research teams receive funding for translational research pilot projects

The Basic-Clinical Partnerships Research Grant program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, currently led by Joyce Schroeder, PhD, supports collaborative translational research pilot projects. This funding mechanism, supported by the UA Cancer Center Support Grant, is designed to promote translational research projects that are led by both a basic scientist and a clinician.

Grant recipients were chosen by a scientific review committee comprised of University of Arizona faculty, and the grant distribution for 2012 will fund four teams of investigators for a total of $90,000. Funded topics include colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and lymphoma. The researchers and their projects are:

Lance_Peter05_5x7_enews.jpgPeter Lance, MD, FRCP, Professor, Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology and Public Health Medical Director, CaTS Clinical Research Unit, UACC Chief Cancer Prevention and Control Officer, and Donato F. Romagnolo, PhD, MSc, Professor, Nutritional and Cancer Biology, Department of Nutritional Sciences. “High fat diet and epigenetics of sporadic colon cancer”

Romagnolo_Picture.jpgLittle is known of the effects of childhood obesity and other lifestyle factors on the colonic epithelium earlier in life and subsequent risk of colon cancer in adult life. The goal of this pilot project is to define early epigenetic events induced by high-fat diet that may contribute to transition from hyperproliferative epithelium to adenoma of the colon.


nagle-dir.jpgRaymond B. Nagle, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Pathology, Cell Biology and Anatomy and Surgery, and Steven P. Stratton, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine. “Predictive utility of DNA damage and genetic instability towards prostate cancer diagnosis”

Many men undergo unnecessary medical procedures since it is Stratton_cropped.jpgvery difficult to reliably differentiate slow-growing from aggressive prostate cancer at early stages. Using banked biopsy tissue and matched patient outcome data collected over 20 years, we are developing new DNA repair-based predictive markers of aggressive prostate cancer that could ultimately impact clinical treatment decisions in men with low-grade disease.


Baker_100w.jpgAmanda Baker, PharmD, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, and Linda Garland, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology. “Development of a high throughput test system for novel PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway"

GarlandWeb.jpgLung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in both men and women and is the number one cause of cancer-related death worldwide. A protein named 14-3-3 gamma appears to play an important role in tobacco-related lung cancer. We will study how 14-3-3 gamma drives the development of tobacco-related lung cancer using an experimental mouse model engineered by our colleague Dr. Jesse Martinez, and how 14,3,3 gamma may drive resistance to cisplatin, a central drug used in lung cancer treatment. These studies can generate information that could be used in the lung cancer clinic to help individualize lung cancer therapy. 


Bommireddy_picture.jpgRamireddy Bommireddy, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Medicine. “A novel mouse model for development of interventions for human follicular lymphomas”

The understanding of follicular lymphoma (FL) and development of effective therapy for patients with FL has been hampered by a lack of a biologically relevant animal model. Mice defective in Calcineurin (CN Aβ KO mice) which is the target of immunosuppressive drugs develop follicular B-cell lymphomas. Our CNAβ KO mouse is poised to have a major impact by being the very first mouse model of slow growing, difficult to cure forms of lymphoma.

-Sept. 17, 2012