Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Balint Z. Kacsoh, PhD

Dr. Kacsoh is studying how social environment can affect disease initiation or progression. Empirical evidence suggests that extreme social environments—such as overcrowding or isolation—can induce or accelerate disease states such as cancer, but little is known about the underlying biology. Dr. Kacsoh proposes to dissect the molecular processes underlying disease progression as a function of social structure by using the very social model organism, the ant species Camponotus floridanus, and by generating a colorectal-like tumor model in these ants. Studies of model organisms with conserved cancer pathways may provide clues to the links between social environment and disease.

Project title: "Influence of social environment on cancer progression"
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Named Award: Rebecca Ridley Kry Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Shelley Berger, PhD, and Christopher J. Lengner, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Epigenetics