Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Christin E. Burd, PhD

The RAS oncogene is mutated in 20% of all human cancers. Different types of mutations occur that promote cancer initiation and progression, yet we do not yet understand the specificity of how each mutation affects RAS’ ability to promote cancer. Unfortunately, despite decades of scientific effort, there are no effective therapies to directly target RAS mutant cancers. Dr. Burd proposes novel, mutation-specific studies of RAS in a variety of tumor types, starting with melanoma, thyroid cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The reason why each cancer type appears to prefer one RAS mutant over another is unknown; however, she postulates that the subtle differences between mutants are critical for tumor formation.  Her research will lead to new understanding of RAS mechanism and function, resulting in better design of novel therapeutics to target RAS for treatment of cancer.

Project title: "Exploiting mutational specificity to target RAS-driven melanoma"
Institution: The Ohio State University
Award Program: Innovator
Cancer Type: Skin
Research Area: Cancer Genetics