Damon Runyon Researchers

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Carolyn C. Jackson MD, MPH

Kaposi sarcoma (KS), a potentially fatal cancer especially in immunodeficient individuals, is caused by human herpes virus-8 (HHV-8), a carcinogenic agent declared by the World Health Organization. Human genetic variability may account for the variability in the clinical outcome of HHV-8 infection. Dr. Jackson aims to discover novel genetic alterations underlying childhood KS and to understand how specific gene defects drive KS in conjunction with HHV-8. This work will identify molecular pathways of impaired antiviral immunity or tumor suppression, consequently broadening our understanding of virus-driven cancers. The genetic study of KS in childhood may provide new insights into the pathogenesis of KS, and aid in developing potential future therapeutics. It will also benefit children at risk of KS in regions of the world where the prevalence of HHV-8 is high.

Project title: "Genetic dissection of pediatric classic Kaposi sarcoma"
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Award Program: Physician-Scientist
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Jean-Laurent Casanova, MD, PhD
Cancer Type: Pediatric, Sarcoma
Research Area: Cancer Genetics