Damon Runyon Annual Report 2014

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December 31, 2014 > Novel system for 3D culture of pancreatic cancer

Christine Iok In Chio, PhD (Damon Runyon Shirley Stein Fellow ‘13-‘17) of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and colleagues, developed a 3D “organoid” culture system for pancreatic cancer that enables growth of pancreatic tissue not only from laboratory mouse models, but also from human patient tissue, offering a path to personalized treatment approaches in the future. The study was published in the journal Cell.

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Theater Benefits to Fund Cancer Research

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Our Theater Benefits offer the chance to attend a dinner at a premier New York restaurant, followed by tickets to a successful or highly anticipated Broadway show.  Guests also have the opportunity to hear first-hand from the scientists themselves about the impact of Damon Runyon funding.

Fall Theater Benefit: Hamilton

Attend Broadway Show & Help Fund Cancer Research

On September 16, 2015, see this year's most highly anticipated show on Broadway and support cancer research! Following an amazing sold-out run at The Public Theater, Lin-Manuel Miranda's critically acclaimed Hamilton will move to Broadway this summer. From the creative team behind the Tony Award-winning In the Heights comes a wildly inventive musical about the scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America: Alexander Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda takes the stage as the unlikely founding father determined to make his mark on a new nation as hungry and ambitious as he is.

Don't miss out! See one of Broadway's most buzzed about shows while supporting new generations of innovative cancer researchers.

Hamilton Theater Benefit
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dinner / 5:30pm

Performance / 8:00pm
Richard Rodgers Theatre
226 West 46th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)

Tickets are $600.

For more information or to reserve your Theater Benefit tickets today, please call at 212.455.0501 or email kim.kubert@damonrunyon.org.

 

December 10, 2014 > New connection established between cell metabolism and stem cell identity

Lydia Finley, PhD (Damon Runyon Jack Sorrell Fellow ‘13-‘17) of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues, demonstrated that stem cells can rewire their metabolism to enhance a mechanism that helps them avoid committing to a specific fate; in turn, this improves stem cells’ ability to renew themselves.  She showed that the nutrients a stem cell uses, and how it uses them, can contribute to a cell’s fate by influencing gene expression through epigenetic modifications.  This newly established link between metabolism and stem cell fate improves our understanding of development and regeneration, and, of cancer. These results were published in the journal Nature.

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December 9, 2014 > Genetic link to treatment-related cognitive decline in children with leukemia

Peter D. Cole, MD (Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award Committee, Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ‘03-‘08) of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, and colleagues, reported that common variations in four genes related to brain inflammation or cells' response to damage from oxidation may contribute to the problems with memory, learning and other cognitive functions seen in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The findings suggest it may be possible to screen ALL patients for their risk of long-term treatment-related effects on memory, attention and learning and studying potential interventions. These results were presented at the 56th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

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December 8, 2014 > Highly disorganized gene regulation linked to chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Catherine J. Wu, MD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ‘07-‘12) and colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, found that in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), treatment produced shorter remissions if the tumor tissue showed signs of highly disorganized methylation, chemical modifications on the DNA that regulate gene expression. The findings demonstrate that such disorganization can actually benefit tumors and render them less vulnerable to anti-cancer drugs. The study was published in the journal Cancer Cell.

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December 6, 2014 > New immunotherapy effective for Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as melanoma

John M. Timmerman, MD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ‘05-‘10) of University of California, Los Angeles, Gordon J. Freeman, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ‘79-'81), of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues, reported that an immunotherapy drug called Opdivo/nivolumab, which inhibits the PD-1 pathway, is effective in treatment of relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma.  In a Phase I clinical trial of 23 patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma treated with the drug, the rate of progression-free survival was 86%. The results were presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.  The US FDA subsequently approved the drug for treatment of metastatic melanoma and also granted it Breakthrough Therapy Designation in relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma

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November 19, 2014 > Genetic mutations predict response to immunotherapy

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ‘03-‘08) and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, reported a key discovery that explains why some patients respond to Yervoy/ipilimumab, an immunotherapy drug, while others do not. They found that the cancer cells from patients who respond to the drug carry a high number of genetic mutations--some of which make tumors more visible to the immune system, and therefore easier to fight. In the future, the researchers hope to develop a diagnostic test to detect the mutations in melanoma patients, which could help doctors to make more effective treatment decisions. This study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Announces New Physician-Scientist Training Award

New York, NY (November 17, 2014) – To help increase the number of physician-scientists, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (Damon Runyon) has created a new award, the Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award, which will provide physicians who have earned an MD degree and completed clinical specialty fellowship training the opportunity to gain the research skills they need to work as investigators.    
Interdisciplinary teamwork is an essential component of the most effective biomedical research, particularly translational research, and having a strong physician-scientist on a research team can help ensure that the most promising and applicable discoveries progress quickly and successfully from bench to bedside, to benefit patients suffering from serious disease. The role of physician-scientists in biomedical research has been called pivotal and irreplaceable, but their numbers are dwindling just when they are needed most, particularly in cancer research, as the number of cancer cases is projected to increase by 45 percent in the next fifteen years and elevate cancer to the leading cause of death in America.    
“Too often, doctors who are ‘late bloomers,’ who discover their passion for research after they begin medical school, find it is too late to join an MD-PhD program or otherwise acquire the experience they need to pursue a research career,” said Lorraine W. Egan, president and CEO of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. “Physicians have a huge contribution to make to scientific research but often lack the opportunity and the grant support needed to put them on a research track. We felt it was important to create that opportunity and hope that other foundations and funders will want to do the same.”
The Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award is a pilot program which will award up to three awards per year initially, beginning in July 2015. Each award will provide four years of significant salary support and research expenses as well as retiring up to $100,000 of any medical school debt still owed by an award recipient. (The average medical school tuition debt is more than $150,000.) Because the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation acknowledges that fellowship-qualified physicians are at a time of life when they may be supporting families, it seeks to address the financial disincentives that may deter some physicians from pursuing a research career, and therefore provides a considerably higher stipend than most research fellowships -- $100,000 in the first year, with increases of $10,000 per year over the next three years.
“Physician-scientists have the unique capacity to blend their insights from treating patients and working in the laboratory in a way that enables and accelerates medical advances,” said Yung S. Lie, PhD, Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. “If the present shortage of physician-scientists continues, we risk a situation in which some major laboratory research discoveries may not reach patients at all, and that would represent a real crisis in cancer research.”
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About the Foundation

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation provides funding to young scientists to pursue innovative cancer research. The Foundation’s goals are to identify and fund the best and brightest early-career scientists in cancer research, enable risk-taking on bold new ideas, and accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into new diagnostic tools and treatments. Damon Runyon is currently funding more than 150 scientists at leading medical centers and research institutions.
100% of all donations to the Foundation are used to support scientific research. Its administrative and fundraising costs are paid from its Damon Runyon Broadway Tickets Service and endowment.

For more information visit http://www.damonrunyon.org.

October 31, 2014 > Damon Runyon alumni play key roles in Ebola fight

Two former Damon Runyon Fellows are making key contributions to the fight to stem the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

During her Damon Runyon Fellowship, Pardis C. Sabeti, MD, DPhil, studied how natural selection drives the evolution of diseases like cancer. This summer, Pardis led a team that sequenced the genome of the current Ebola virus from affected individuals in Sierra Leone, tracing the spread of the outbreak back to its origin. Her team has released the sequencing data for use by researchers around the world in hopes that open access to the virus' genetic code will speed breakthroughs in treatment and vaccines. In addition, Dr. Sabeti has been a vocal advocate for researchers and healthcare workers on the front lines of the epidemic, urging governments, international organizations, and researchers around the world to find new ways of collaborating to stop the outbreak.

Read about Dr. Sabeti's work in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Mark Murray, PhD, CEO of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, has led his company in developing an experimental Ebola treatment. Called TKM-Ebola, the treatment targets virus proteins using silencing RNAs, potentially interfering with Ebola's ability to replicate itself in the body. Several healthcare workers have received the experimental drug after contracting the virus, and the FDA recently granted the company expanded access permission to test the drug for potential wider use in combating the outbreak.

Read about TKM-Ebola's development in the Wall Street Journal and The International Business Times.

New Discoveries eNewsletter: Oct - Dec 2014

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation | New Discoveries Newsletter

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Damon Runyon Logo
October – December 2014
Damon Runyon Newsletter

Dear Damon Runyon Scientists,

Happy holidays from all of us at Damon Runyon! We wish you a healthy and successful new year. 

A few weeks ago, the ASCO Post (a publication of the American Society of Clinical Oncology) featured an op-ed piece by Damon Runyon President and CEO Lorraine Egan, entitled “Why Physician-Scientists Are Indispensable to Cancer Research.”  The op-ed describes why it is urgent that we take action to enable more doctors to follow this important career path and describes the launch of our new Physician-Scientist Training Award.

Our Scientific Committees met this fall to select the newest awardees of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, Fellowship Award and Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists. Stay tuned for the announcement of these new awardees in January.

In the meantime, you can watch videos of some of our Damon Runyon Scientists at https://www.youtube.com/user/DamonRunyonFnd?feature=watch. Please pass them on to your family and friends.

Please see below for the latest update on exciting news and findings from your fellow Damon Runyon scientists – current and former. These are just the publications and awards that we are aware of, so we apologize if we have not included your work.  Lay summaries of some of this work are posted on the News page of our website, along with additional news about our Scientific Committee and Board members.  

Thanks again to those of you who have sent us updates on your recent progress. Please continue to stay in touch.

Best regards,
Yung

Yung S. Lie, PhD
Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
One Exchange Plaza
55 Broadway, Suite 302
New York, NY 10006
212.455.0521
yung.lie@damonrunyon.org

 

Holiday wishes from Lorraine Egan, our President and CEO:

 

Thank you for your commitment to innovative science and improving human health.  We take great pride in each of the 3,460+ scientists whose careers we helped launch over the past 68 years.  Your impact is immeasurable.  This year, we are increasing our investment in new generations of top scientists by 33% to ensure that we keep the best talent in science.  We hope you will join us to achieve this important goal by donating to Damon Runyon this year.  As always, 100% of your donation will be used to support someone very much like you – a brilliant mind dedicated to discovery and breakthroughs.

All our best for a happy and healthy 2015,

Lorraine

 

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UPCOMING DEADLINES and EVENTS

Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award
Next application deadline: February 17, 2015

Accelerating Cancer Cures Research Symposium
March 3, 2015
Hosted by Eli Lilly, New York, NY

Damon Runyon Fellowship Award
Next application deadline: March 16, 2015

Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award
Next application deadline: March 16, 2015 

   

 


AWARDS and HONORS

   

2014 Grand Prize winner of theScience & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists:

Liron Bar-Peled (Fellow ’14-’16),The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla

 

 

PUBLICATIONS

Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD (Sohn Committee Member, Clinical Inestigator '03-'08), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York and James Bradner, MD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’10-’13), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
AF10 Regulates Progressive H3K79 Methylation and HOX Gene Expression in Diverse AML Subtypes.Deshpande AJ, Deshpande A, Sinha AU, Chen L, Chang J, Cihan A, Fazio M, Chen CW, Zhu N, Koche R, Dzhekieva L, Ibáñez G, Dias S, Banka D, Krivtsov A, Luo M, Roeder RG, Bradner JE, Bernt KM, Armstrong SA. Cancer Cell. 2014 Dec 8;26(6):896-908. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2014.10.009.

James E. Bradner, MD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’10-’13), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
Biased multicomponent reactions to develop novel bromodomain inhibitors. McKeown MR, Shaw DL, Fu H, Liu S, Xu X, Marineau JJ, Huang Y, Zhang X, Buckley DL, Kadam A, Zhang Z, Blacklow SC, Qi J, Zhang W, Bradner JE. J Med Chem. 2014 Nov 13;57(21):9019-27. doi: 10.1021/jm501120z.

Pre-clinical analysis of changes in intra-cellular biochemistry of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells due to c-Myc silencing. Rajagopalan V, Vaidyanathan M, Janardhanam VA, Bradner JE. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Oct;34(7):1059-69. doi: 10.1007/s10571-014-0083-4.

Ken Cadwell, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist ’11-’12, Fellow ’08-’10), New York University School of Medicine, New York
An enteric virus can replace the beneficial function of commensal bacteria. Kernbauer E, Ding Y, Cadwell K. Nature. 2014 Nov 19. doi: 10.1038/nature13960.

Pedro Batista, PhD (Fellow ’11-’14) and Howard Chang, MD, PhD (Scholar ’05-’08), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford
m(6)A RNA Modification Controls Cell Fate Transition in Mammalian Embryonic Stem Cells. Batista PJ, Molinie B, Wang J, Qu K, Zhang J, Li L, Bouley DM, Lujan E, Haddad B, Daneshvar K, Carter AC, Flynn RA, Zhou C, Lim KS, Dedon P, Wernig M, Mullen AC, Xing Y, Giallourakis CC, Chang HY. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Dec 4;15(6):707-19. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.09.019.

Karlene A. Cimprich, PhD (Fellow ’94-’97) Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford
Transcription-Coupled Nucleotide Excision Repair Factors Promote R-Loop-Induced Genome Instability. Sollier J, Stork CT, García-Rubio ML, Paulsen RD, Aguilera A, Cimprich KA. Mol Cell. 2014 Nov 25. pii: S1097-2765(14)00830-2. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.10.020.

Colleen Delaney, MD, MSc (Clinical Investigator ’07-’12) Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
One-unit versus two-unit cord-blood transplantation for hematologic cancers. Wagner JE Jr, Eapen M, Carter S, Wang Y, Schultz KR, Wall DA, Bunin N, Delaney C, Haut P, Margolis D, Peres E, Verneris MR, Walters M, Horowitz MM, Kurtzberg J; Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network. N Engl J Med. 2014 Oct 30;371(18):1685-94. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1405584.

Enhanced generation of cord blood hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells by culture with StemRegenin1 and Delta1(Ext-IgG.).Dahlberg A, Brashem-Stein C, Delaney C, Bernstein ID. Leukemia. 2014 Oct;28(10):2097-101. doi: 10.1038/leu.2014.181.

Steven F. Dowdy, PhD (Fellow ’90-’93), University of California, San Diego
Efficient delivery of RNAi prodrugs containing reversible charge-neutralizing phosphotriester backbone modifications. Meade BR, Gogoi K, Hamil AS, Palm-Apergi C, Berg Av, Hagopian JC, Springer AD, Eguchi A, Kacsinta AD, Dowdy CF, Presente A, Lönn P, Kaulich M, Yoshioka N, Gros E, Cui XS, Dowdy SF. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Dec;32(12):1256-61. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3078.

Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’04-’09), The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Lymphocyte Activation Gene 3 (LAG-3) Modulates the Ability of CD4 T-cells to Be Suppressed In Vivo. Durham NM, Nirschl CJ, Jackson CM, Elias J, Kochel CM, Anders RA, Drake CG (2014) PLoS ONE 9(11): e109080. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109080

Guido Franzoso, MD, PhD (Scholar ’00-’02), Imperial College, London
Cancer-selective targeting of the NF-κB survival pathway with GADD45β/MKK7 inhibitors.Tornatore L, Sandomenico A, Raimondo D, Low C, Rocci A, Tralau-Stewart C, Capece D, D'Andrea D, Bua M, Boyle E, van Duin M, Zoppoli P, Jaxa-Chamiec A, Thotakura AK, Dyson J, Walker BA, Leonardi A, Chambery A, Driessen C, Sonneveld P, Morgan G, Palumbo A, Tramontano A, Rahemtulla A, Ruvo M, Franzoso G. Cancer Cell. 2014 Oct 13;26(4):495-508. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.07.027.

Chuan-Hsiang Huang, PhD (Fellow ’09-’12), The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Evolutionarily conserved coupling of adaptive and excitable networks mediates eukaryotic chemotaxis. Tang M, Wang M, Shi C, Iglesias PA, Devreotes PN, Huang CH. Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 27;5:5175. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6175.

Calvin H. Jan, PhD (Fellow ’11-’14), University of California, San Francisco
Principles of ER cotranslational translocation revealed by proximity-specific ribosome profiling. Jan CH, Williams CC, Weissman JS. Science. 2014 Nov 7;346(6210):1257521. doi: 10.1126/science.1257521

Kevin B. Jones, MD (Clinical Investigator ’12-’15) University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Modeling alveolar soft part sarcomagenesis in the mouse: a role for lactate in the tumor microenvironment. Goodwin ML, Jin H, Straessler K, Smith-Fry K, Zhu JF, Monument MJ, Grossmann A, Randall RL, Capecchi MR, Jones KB. Cancer Cell. 2014 Dec 8;26(6):851-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2014.10.003.

Gabriel C. Lander, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist ’13-’15, Fellow ’10-’13), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla
Solid-to-fluid-like DNA transition in viruses facilitates infection. Liu T, Sae-Ueng U, Li D, Lander GC, Zuo X, Jönsson B, Rau D, Shefer I, Evilevitch A. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 14;111(41):14675-80. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1321637111.


Robert K. McGinty, MD, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist '15-'17, Fellow ’12-’16), Pennsylvania State University, College Park
Crystal structure of the PRC1 ubiquitylation module bound to the nucleosome. McGinty RK, Henrici RC, Tan S. Nature. 2014 Oct 30;514(7524):591-6. doi: 10.1038/nature13890.


Elahe A. Mostaghel, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’08-’13) and Peter S. Nelson, MD (Physician-Scientist Committee Member, Scholar ’02-’04) Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle

Prostate cancer characteristics associated with response to pre-receptor targeting of the androgen axis. Mostaghel EA, Morgan A, Zhang X, Marck BT, Xia J, Hunter-Merrill R, Gulati R, Plymate S, Vessella RL, Corey E, Higano CS, Matsumoto AM, Montgomery RB, Nelson PS. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 30;9(10):e111545. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111545.

Peter S. Nelson, MD (Physician-Scientist Committee Member, Damon Runyon Scholar ’02, ’04) Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
The Androgen-Regulated Protease TMPRSS2 Activates a Proteolytic Cascade Involving Components of the Tumor Microenvironment and Promotes Prostate Cancer Metastasis. Lucas JM, Heinlein C, Kim T, Hernandez SA, Malik MS, True LD, Morrissey C, Corey E, Montgomery B, Mostaghel E, Clegg N, Coleman I, Brown CM, Schneider EL, Craik C, Simon JA, Bedalov A, Nelson PS. Cancer Discov. 2014 Nov;4(11):1310-25. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.

Jared T. Nordman, PhD (Fellow ’09-’12) Whitehead Institute, Cambridge
DNA Copy-Number Control through Inhibition of Replication Fork Progression. Nordman JT, Kozhevnikova EN, Verrijzer CP, Pindyurin AV, Andreyeva EN, Shloma VV, Zhimulev IF, Orr-Weaver TL. Cell Rep. 2014 Nov 6;9(3):841-9. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.005.

John M. Pagel, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’05-’10), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
In Vivo Localization of 90Y and 177Lu Radioimmunoconjugates Using Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging in a Disseminated Murine Leukemia Model. Balkin ER, Kenoyer A, Orozco JJ, Hernandez A, Shadman M, Fisher DR, Green DJ, Hylarides MD, Press OW, Wilbur DS, Pagel JM. Cancer Res. 2014 Oct 15;74(20):5846-54. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472

Anti-CD45 Radioimmunotherapy with 90Y but Not 177Lu Is Effective Treatment in a Syngeneic Murine Leukemia Model.Orozco JJ, Balkin ER, Gooley TA, Kenoyer A, Hamlin DK, Wilbur DS, Fisher DR, Hylarides MD, Shadman M, Green DJ, Gopal AK, Press OW, Pagel JM. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 2;9(12):e113601. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113601.

 

Douglas H. Phanstiel, PhD (Fellow ’12-’15), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford

Sushi.R: flexible, quantitative and integrative genomic visualizations for publication-quality multi-panel figures. Phanstiel DH, Boyle AP, Araya CL, Snyder MP. Bioinformatics. 2014 Oct;30(19):2808-10. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu379.

 

Genome-wide map of regulatory interactions in the human genome. Heidari N, Phanstiel DH, He C, Grubert F, Jahanbani F, Kasowski M, Zhang MQ, Snyder MP. Genome Res. 2014 Sep 16. pii: gr.176586.114.


Julien Sage, PhD (Fellowship Committee Member, Scholar ’05-’07), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford

Inhibition of Pluripotency Networks by the Rb Tumor Suppressor Restricts Reprogramming and Tumorigenesis. Kareta MS, Gorges LL, Hafeez S, Benayoun BA, Marro S, Zmoos AF, Cecchini MJ, Spacek D, Batista LF, O'Brien M, Ng YH, Ang CE, Vaka D, Artandi SE, Dick FA, Brunet A, Sage J, Wernig M. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Nov 13. pii: S1934-5909(14)00470-6. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.10.019.

 

Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD (Fellow ’04-’05), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Crizotinib in ROS1-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer. Shaw AT, Ou SH, Bang YJ, Camidge DR, Solomon BJ, Salgia R, Riely GJ, Varella-Garcia M, Shapiro GI, Costa DB, Doebele RC, Le LP, Zheng Z, Tan W, Stephenson P, Shreeve SM, Tye LM, Christensen JG, Wilner KD, Clark JW, Iafrate AJ. N Engl J Med. 2014 Nov 20;371(21):1963-71. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1406766.

 

Two Novel ALK Mutations Mediate Acquired Resistance to the Next-Generation ALK Inhibitor Alectinib.Katayama R, Friboulet L, Koike S, Lockerman EL, Khan TM, Gainor JF, Iafrate AJ, Takeuchi K, Taiji M, Okuno Y, Fujita N, Engelman JA, Shaw AT. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Nov 15;20(22):5686-96. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.

 

Michael J. Smanski, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist '15-'17, Fellow ’12-’14), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Functional optimization of gene clusters by combinatorial design and assembly. Smanski MJ, Bhatia S, Zhao D, Park Y, B A Woodruff L, Giannoukos G, Ciulla D, Busby M, Calderon J, Nicol R, Gordon DB, Densmore D, Voigt CA. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Nov 24. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3063.

 

John M. Timmerman, MD (Clinical Investigator ’05-’10), University of California, Los Angeles

PD-1 Blockade with Nivolumab in Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Ansell SM, Lesokhin AM, Borrello I, Halwani A, Scott EC, Gutierrez M, Schuster SJ, Millenson MM, Cattry D, Freeman GJ, Rodig SJ, Chapuy B, Ligon AH, Zhu L, Grosso JF, Kim SY, Timmerman JM, Shipp MA, Armand P.  N Engl J Med. 2014 Dec 6.


Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’03-’08), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

Genetic Basis for Clinical Response to CTLA-4 Blockade in Melanoma. Snyder A, Makarov V, Merghoub T, Yuan J, Zaretsky JM, Desrichard A, Walsh LA, Postow MA, Wong P, Ho TS, Hollmann TJ, Bruggeman C, Kannan K, Li Y, Elipenahli C, Liu C, Harbison CT, Wang L, Ribas A, Wolchok JD, Chan TA. N Engl J Med. 2014 Nov 19.

 

Catherine J. Wu, MD (Clinical Investigator ’07-’12), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Locally disordered methylation forms the basis of intratumor methylome variation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Landau DA, Clement K, Ziller MJ, Boyle P, Fan J, Gu H, Stevenson K, Sougnez C, Wang L, Li S, Kotliar D, Zhang W, Ghandi M, Garraway L, Fernandes SM, Livak KJ, Gabriel S, Gnirke A, Lander ES, Brown JR, Neuberg D, Kharchenko PV, Hacohen N, Getz G, Meissner A, Wu CJ. Cancer Cell. 2014 Dec 8;26(6):813-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2014.10.012.


Joanna Wysocka, PhD (Fellow '04-'06) and Howard Chang, MD, PhD (Scholar ’05-’08), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford

RNA helicase DDX21 coordinates transcription and ribosomal RNA processing. Calo E, Flynn RA, Martin L, Spitale RC, Chang HY, Wysocka J. Nature. 2014 Nov 24. doi: 10.1038/nature13923.


Mark J. Zylka, PhD (Fellow ’00-’03), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Topoisomerase 1 inhibition reversibly impairs synaptic function. Mabb AM, Kullmann PH, Twomey MA, Miriyala J, Philpot BD, Zylka MJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 2;111(48):17290-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1413204111.


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New Discoveries eNewsletter:  July - Oct 2014

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation | New Discoveries Newsletter

 

Damon Runyon Logo
July – October 2014
Damon Runyon Newsletter

Dear Damon Runyon Scientists,

We've just returned from our fourteenth annual Fellows' Retreat in Beverly, Massachusetts. Seventy-six first- and third-year Fellows and Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Fellows joined us for a terrific conference. Our Damon Runyon Alumnus Speaker was Matthew L. Meyerson, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’95-’98), Professor of Pathology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute. The Keynote Speakers were Stephen H. Friend, MD, PhD, President and Director of Sage Bionetworks, and Gustavo A. Stolovitzky, PhD, Functional Genomics and Systems Biology Group at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. We were also joined by seven members of our Fellowship Award Committee (FAC). As always, it was a huge pleasure to learn about the Fellows' research progress and spend time with them informally as well. The FAC will meet in November to select a new class of Fellows and Dale F. Frey Scientists.

This past week, the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award Committee met at our office in New York City to hear progress reports from our second-year Innovators and to select finalists for the 2015 class of Innovators. Stay tuned for our announcement of the new Innovators in January.

Lastly, thank you to all of you who participated in and/or supported our sixth annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium. It was a great success, with $575,000 raised for cancer research.

Thanks again to those of you who have sent us updates on your recent progress. Have a wonderful fall, and please continue to stay in touch.

Best regards,
Yung

Yung S. Lie, PhD
Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
One Exchange Plaza
55 Broadway, Suite 302
New York, NY 10006
212.455.0521
yung.lie@damonrunyon.org


UPCOMING DEADLINES and EVENTS

Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award
Application deadline: December 1, 2014

Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award
Next application deadline: February 17, 2015

Accelerating Cancer Cures Research Symposium
March 3, 2015

Damon Runyon Fellowship Award
Next application deadline: March 16, 2015

Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award
Next application deadline: March 16, 2015 

   

AWARDS and HONORS

   

Elected to the Institute of Medicine:
Todd R. Golub, MD (Damon Runyon Board Member), The Broad Institute, Cambridge

2014 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology:

Gordon J. Freeman, PhD (Fellow ’79-’81), Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

MIT Technology Review’s list of “35 Innovators under 35”:
Emily P. Balskus, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’14-’16), Harvard University, Cambridge

2014 NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigator:
Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’12-’14), The Broad Institute and MIT, Cambridge

   

 IN MEMORIAM

Emmanuel Farber, MD, PhD (Grantee ’68-’69)
1918-2014

   

 NEW APPOINTMENTS and PROMOTIONS

Raymond E. Moellering, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist ’14-’15, Fellow ’11-’13)
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry; Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology
University of Chicago

Michael J. Smanski, PhD (Fellow ’12-’14)
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
University of Minnesota

Sabrina L. Spencer, PhD (Fellow ’10-’13)
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Colorado, Boulder

Jesse Zalatan, PhD (Fellow ’09-’11)
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Washington

 

 

PUBLICATIONS

Ronald J. Buckanovich, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’08-’11), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Combination cediranib and olaparib versus olaparib alone for women with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer: a randomised phase 2 study.
Liu JF, Barry WT, Birrer M, Lee JM, Buckanovich RJ, Fleming GF, Rimel B, Buss MK, Nattam S, Hurteau J, Luo W, Quy P, Whalen C, Obermayer L, Lee H, Winer EP, Kohn EC, Ivy SP, Matulonis UA. Lancet Oncol. 2014 Oct;15(11):1207-14. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70391-2.

Ken Cadwell, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist ’11-’12, Fellow ’08-’10), New York University School of Medicine, New York
Autophagy Gene Atg16l1 Prevents Lethal T Cell Alloreactivity Mediated by Dendritic Cells.
Hubbard-Lucey VM, Shono Y, Maurer K, West ML, Singer NV, Ziegler CG, Lezcano C, Motta AC, Schmid K, Levi SM, Murphy GF, Liu C, Winkler JD, Amaravadi RK, Rogler G, Dickinson AM, Holler E, van den Brink MR, Cadwell K. Immunity. 2014 Oct 8. pii: S1074-7613(14)00345-8. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.09.011.

Kenneth Chen, MD (Sohn Fellow ’13-’17), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
Somatic mutations in DROSHA and DICER1 impair microRNA biogenesis through distinct mechanisms in Wilms tumours.
Rakheja D, Chen KS, Liu Y, Shukla AA, Schmid V, Chang TC, Khokhar S, Wickiser JE, Karandikar NJ, Malter JS, Mendell JT, Amatruda JF. Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 5;2:4802. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5802.

Sidi Chen, PhD (Fellow ’12-’15), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’12-’14), The Broad Institute and MIT, Cambridge
CRISPR-Cas9 Knockin Mice for Genome Editing and Cancer Modeling.
Platt RJ, Chen S, Zhou Y, Yim MJ, Swiech L, Kempton HR, Dahlman JE, Parnas O, Eisenhaure TM, Jovanovic M, Graham DB, Jhunjhunwala S, Heidenreich M, Xavier RJ, Langer R, Anderson DG, Hacohen N, Regev A, Feng G, Sharp PA, Zhang F. Cell. 2014 Oct 9;159(2):440-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.014.

Oscar R. Colegio, MD, PhD (Fellow ’09-’10), Yale University, New Haven
Functional polarization of tumour-associated macrophages by tumour-derived lactic acid.
Colegio OR, Chu NQ, Szabo AL, Chu T, Rhebergen AM, Jairam V, Cyrus N, Brokowski CE, Eisenbarth SC, Phillips GM, Cline GW, Phillips AJ, Medzhitov R. Nature. 2014 Sep 25;513(7519):559-63.

Damian C. Ekiert, PhD (Fellow ’12-’16), University of California, San Francisco
Structure of a PE-PPE-EspG complex from Mycobacterium tuberculosis reveals molecular specificity of ESX protein secretion.
Ekiert DC, Cox JS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 1. pii: 201409345.

Mary Williard Elting, PhD (Fellow ’13-’17), University of California, San Francisco
Force on spindle microtubule minus ends moves chromosomes.
Elting MW, Hueschen CL, Udy DB, Dumont S. J Cell Biol. 2014 Jul 21;206(2):245-56. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201401091.

Dean W. Felsher, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’03-’08), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford
Activation of Cre Recombinase Alone Can Induce Complete Tumor Regression.
Li Y, Choi PS, Casey SC, Felsher DW. PLOS ONE. 2014 Sep 10;9(9): e107589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107589

Maria Genander, PhD (Fellow ’11), and Elaine Fuchs, PhD (Fellow ’77), The Rockefeller University
BMP Signaling and Its pSMAD1/5 Target Genes Differentially Regulate Hair Follicle Stem Cell Lineages. Genander M, Cook PJ, Ramsköld D, Keyes BE, Mertz AF, Sandberg R, Fuchs E. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Oct 8. pii: S1934-5909(14)00400-7. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.09.009.

Junjie U. Guo, PhD (Fellow ’13-’16), Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge
Expanded identification and characterization of mammalian circular RNAs.
Guo JU, Agarwal V, Guo H, Bartel DP. Genome Biol. 2014 Jul 29;15(7):409.

John J. Karijolich, PhD (Fellow ’12-’16), University of California, Berkeley
Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF45 Mediates Transcriptional Activation of the HIV-1 Long Terminal Repeat via RSK2.
Karijolich J, Zhao Y, Peterson B, Zhou Q, Glaunsinger B. J Virol. 2014 Jun 15;88(12):7024-7035. Epub 2014 Apr 9.

William Y. Kim, MD (Clinical Investigator ’09-’14), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
mTOR Inhibition Induces Compensatory, Therapeutically Targetable MEK Activation in Renal Cell Carcinoma. Bailey ST, Zhou B, Damrauer JS, Krishnan B, Wilson HL, Smith AM, Li M, Yeh JJ, Kim WY. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 2;9(9):e104413.

Serkan Kir, PhD (Fellow ’13-’16), Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
Tumour-derived PTH-related protein triggers adipose tissue browning and cancer cachexia.
Kir S, White JP, Kleiner S, Kazak L, Cohen P, Baracos VE, Spiegelman BM. Nature. 2014 Sep 4;513(7516):100-4. doi: 10.1038/nature13528.

Moritz F. Kircher, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’14-’16), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
Guiding Brain Tumor Resection Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Nanoparticles and a Hand-Held Raman Scanner.
Karabeber H, Huang R, Iacono P, Samii JM, Pitter K, Holland EC, Kircher MF. ACS Nano. 2014 Aug 22.

Kristin A. Krukenberg, PhD (Fellow ’10-’13), Harvard Medical School, Boston
Basal Activity of a PARP1-NuA4 Complex Varies Dramatically across Cancer Cell Lines. Krukenberg KA, Jiang R, Steen JA, Mitchison TJ. Cell Rep. 2014 Sep 25;8(6):1808-18. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.009.

David Q. Matus, PhD (Fellow ’07-’10), Stony Brook University, Stony Brook
Cell division and targeted cell cycle arrest opens and stabilizes basement membrane gaps.
Matus DQ, Chang E, Makohon-Moore SC, Hagedorn MA, Chi Q, Sherwood DR. Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 13;5:4184. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5184.

Nicholas E. Navin, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Clonal evolution in breast cancer revealed by single nucleus genome sequencing.
Wang Y, Waters J, Leung ML, Unruh A, Roh W, Shi X, Chen K, Scheet P, Vattathil S, Liang H, Multani A, Zhang H, Zhao R, Michor F, Meric-Bernstam F, Navin NE. Nature. 2014 Aug 14;512(7513):155-60. doi: 10.1038/nature13600.

Trudy G. Oliver, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Caspase-2 impacts lung tumorigenesis and chemotherapy response in vivo.
Terry MR, Arya R, Mukhopadhyay A, Berrett KC, Clair PM, Witt B, Salama ME, Bhutkar A, Oliver TG. Cell Death Differ. 2014 Oct 10. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2014.159.

Bradley L. Pentelute, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Delivery of Antibody Mimics into Mammalian Cells via Anthrax Toxin Protective Antigen. Liao X, Rabideau AE, Pentelute BL. Chembiochem. 2014 Sep 22. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201402290.

Alex Pollen, PhD (Fellow ’13-’17), University of California, San Francisco
Low-coverage single-cell mRNA sequencing reveals cellular heterogeneity and activated signaling pathways in developing cerebral cortex.
Pollen AA, Nowakowski TJ, Shuga J, Wang X, Leyrat AA, Lui JH, Li N, Szpankowski L, Fowler B, Chen P, Ramalingam N, Sun G, Thu M, Norris M, Lebofsky R, Toppani D, Kemp DW 2nd, Wong M, Clerkson B, Jones BN, Wu S, Knutsson L, Alvarado B, Wang J, Weaver LS, May AP, Jones RC, Unger MA, Kriegstein AR, West JA. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Oct;32(10):1053-8. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2967.

Pardis C. Sabeti, MD, DPhil (Fellow ’04-’06), Harvard University, Cambridge
Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak.
Gire SK, Goba A, Andersen KG, Sealfon RS, Park DJ, Kanneh L, Jalloh S, Momoh M, Fullah M, Dudas G, Wohl S, Moses LM, Yozwiak NL, Winnicki S, Matranga CB, Malboeuf CM, Qu J, Gladden AD, Schaffner SF, Yang X, Jiang PP, Nekoui M, Colubri A, Coomber MR, Fonnie M, Moigboi A, Gbakie M, Kamara FK, Tucker V, Konuwa E, Saffa S, Sellu J, Jalloh AA, Kovoma A, Koninga J, Mustapha I, Kargbo K, Foday M, Yillah M, Kanneh F, Robert W, Massally JL, Chapman SB, Bochicchio J, Murphy C, Nusbaum C, Young S, Birren BW, Grant DS, Scheiffelin JS, Lander ES, Happi C, Gevao SM, Gnirke A, Rambaut A, Garry RF, Khan SH, Sabeti PC. Science. 2014 Sep 12;345(6202):1369-72. doi: 10.1126/science.1259657.

Jens C. Schmidt, PhD (Fellow ’13-’17), University of Colorado, Boulder
Identification of human TERT elements necessary for telomerase recruitment to telomeres.
Jens C Schmidt, Andrew B Dalby, Thomas R Cech. eLife. 2014 Oct 1;0.7554/eLife.03563

Raffaella Sordella, PhD (Damon Runyon Rachleff Innovator ’10-’12), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor
p53Ψ is a transcriptionally inactive p53 isoform able to reprogram cells toward a metastatic-like state.
Senturk S, Yao Z, Camiolo M, Stiles B, Rathod T, Walsh AM, Nemajerova A, Lazzara MJ, Altorki NK, Krainer A, Moll UM, Lowe SW, Cartegni L, Sordella R. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Aug 12;111(32):E3287-96. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1321640111.

Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Rachleff Innovator ’11-’13, Fellow ’06-’08), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Elevation of circulating branched-chain amino acids is an early event in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma development.
Mayers JR, Wu C, Clish CB, Kraft P, Torrence ME, Fiske BP, Yuan C, Bao Y, Townsend MK, Tworoger SS, Davidson SM, Papagiannakopoulos T, Yang A, Dayton TL, Ogino S, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Qian ZR, Rubinson DA, Ma J, Sesso HD, Gaziano JM, Cochrane BB, Liu S, Wactawski-Wende J, Manson JE, Pollak MN, Kimmelman AC, Souza A, Pierce K, Wang TJ, Gerszten RE, Fuchs CS, Vander Heiden MG, Wolpin BM. Nat Med. 2014 Oct;20(10):1193-8. doi: 10.1038/nm.3686.

Zefeng Wang, PhD (Fellow ’03-’06), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The Splicing Factor RBM4 Controls Apoptosis, Proliferation, and Migration to Suppress Tumor Progression.
Wang Y, Chen D, Qian H, Tsai YS, Shao S, Liu Q, Dominguez D, Wang Z. Cancer Cell. 2014 Sep 8;26(3):374-89. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.07.010.

Kathryn E. Wellen, PhD (Fellow ’07-’10), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
Akt-dependent metabolic reprogramming regulates tumor cell histone acetylation.
Lee JV, Carrer A, Shah S, Snyder NW, Wei S, Venneti S, Worth AJ, Yuan ZF, Lim HW, Liu S, Jackson E, Aiello NM, Haas NB, Rebbeck TR, Judkins A, Won KJ, Chodosh LA, Garcia BA, Stanger BZ, Feldman MD, Blair IA, Wellen KE. Cell Metab. 2014 Aug 5;20(2):306-19.

Ian Y. Wong, PhD (Fellow ’10-’13), Brown University, Providence
Collective and individual migration following the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Wong IY, Javaid S, Wong EA, Perk S, Haber DA, Toner M, Irimia D. Nat Mater. 2014 Aug 17. doi: 10.1038/nmat4062.

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October 20, 2014 > Institute of Medicine elects new members

Election to the Institute of Medicine is one of the highest honors that can be earned in the fields of medicine and health.  In recognition of their outstanding achievements, members of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation community were inducted this month:

Todd R. Golub, MD (Damon Runyon Board of Directors Member, Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award Committee Member), Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Cambridge
Guillermina (Gigi) Lozano, PhD (Former Fellowship Award Committee Member), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
David R. Piwnica-Worms, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator Award Committee Member), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

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October 14, 2014 > 2014 NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigators named

Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '12-'14) of the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, is one of six promising early career scientists named as 2014 NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigators. The award is designed to support scientists engaged in novel neuroscience and cutting-edge translational stem cell research. Each Investigator will receive a generous five-year award.

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September 28, 2014 > Early sign of pancreatic cancer discovered

Matthew G. Vander Heiden, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ‘11-‘13, Damon Runyon Fellow ‘06-‘08) of MIT, Cambridge, and colleagues, reported the discovery of a sign of the early development of pancreatic cancer – an increase in certain amino acids due to changes in metabolism. This occurs before the disease is diagnosed and symptoms appear, and the researchers hope that eventually they may be able to use this information to detect the disease earlier. These findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

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September 25, 2014 > New mouse model for genome editing and cancer modeling

Sidi Chen, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow '12-'15) and Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '12-'14) of the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, developed a new mouse model that allows scientists to use the CRISPR-Cas9 system for in vivo genome editing experiments. They demonstrated the utility of the new “Cas9 mouse” model to edit multiple genes in a variety of cell types, and to model lung adenocarcinoma. The mouse has already been made available to the entire scientific community. These findings were published in the journal Cell.

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September 24, 2014 > Recruiting anthrax for drug delivery

Bradley L. Pentelute, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), and colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, used a disarmed version of the anthrax toxin to deliver two proteins known as antibody mimics, which can kill cancer cells by disrupting specific proteins inside the cells. In this study, they successfully targeted Bcr-Abl and hRaf-1, which both have known functions in cancer. This is the first demonstration of effective delivery of antibody mimics into cells, which could be applied to develop new drugs for cancer and other diseases. These findings were published in the journal ChemBioChem.

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Runyon 5K—Run/Walk for Cancer Research

Runyon 5K For Cancer Research at Yankee StadiumThousands of baseball fans, runners, walkers, cancer survivors, and their friends and family gathered at Yankee Stadium on August 3, 2014, for the sixth annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium. One of New York's most unique summer events, the Runyon 5K is the only charitable run/walk that uses the iconic Stadium as its course. Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner served as the Official Ambassador for this year's event, which raised $600,000 for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's groundbreaking efforts to strike out cancer. Since inception, the event has raised more than $3.5 million. 

If you would like to be added to our email list to receive news and updates about the 2015 Runyon 5K, please sign up for our Runyon 5K Email Alert.

See photos from the 2014 Runyon 5K.

See videos on Youtube from the 2014 Runyon 5K.

September 8, 2014 > Splicing factor important for cancer development and metastasis

Zefeng Wang (Damon Runyon Fellow ’03-’06) of UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, discovered that a protein crucial to the process of gene splicing, called RBM4, is drastically decreased in multiple forms of human cancer, including lung and breast cancers. This reduction in RBM4 results in altered gene expression, giving rise to cancer development and metastasis. Components of the splicing pathway could be potential targets for new cancer therapies. The study was published in the journal Cancer Cell.

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September 3, 2014 > Handheld scanner for accurate detection and removal of brain tumor cells

Moritz F. Kircher, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '14-'16) and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, developed a new handheld device (“Raman scanner”) that can accurately detect cancer cells during surgery. The device resembles a laser pointer and detects nanoprobes that mark tumor cells but not normal cells. In a mouse model of glioblastoma, the scanner enabled researchers to successfully identify and remove all malignant cells in the animals’ brains. The device has the potential to move rapidly into clinical trials, eventually allowing surgeons to remove all cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. This study was published in the journal ACS Nano.

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