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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Five Dana-Farber scientists have been chosen to receive Wong Family Awards in Translational Oncology for fiscal year 2024
Mar 31, 2024, 14:23

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Five Dana-Farber scientists have been chosen to receive Wong Family Awards in Translational Oncology for fiscal year 2024

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute posted on LinkedIn:

“Five Dana-Farber scientists have been chosen to receive Wong Family Awards in Translational Oncology for fiscal year 2024. The awards, established by the Wong Family to advance innovative projects in clinical and/or translational oncology, biotechnology development, precision medicine, or immunotherapy, seek to help personalized medicine become a reality for all patients. The awards recognize ‘the most meritorious and innovative translational projects that utilize information from multiple platforms to develop new diagnostics, prognostic markers, predictive markers, or therapeutics for cancer.’

The Wong Family Awards in Translational Oncology Endowment, established in 2011, distributes funding for awards annually through a competitive process.

This year’s recipients and projects are:

Tamar Berger of Medical Oncology
In glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive primary brain cancer in adults, approximately 8 out of every 10 brain tumors have excess copies of chromosome 7. As part of a collaboration between the laboratories of William G. Kaelin Jr. and Rameen Beroukhim Berger is using computational algorithms and CRISPR gene-activation technology to identify genes on chromosome 7 that promote glioblastoma.

Elizabeth I. Buchbinder and Shruti Gupta of Medical Oncology
While immunotherapy drugs known as immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized treatment for many types of cancer, they sometimes cause T cells to attack healthy tissues and organs. When the kidneys are under attack, the result can lead to nephritis and kidney failure. Currently, it is difficult to determine if an immune checkpoint inhibitor is responsible for these kidney complications. Buchbinder and Gupta will examine whether certain immune system markers and RNA in the blood and urine indicate that nephritis or kidney failure are triggered by treatment with an immune checkpoint inhibitor.

Jun Qi of Cancer Biology
Qi and his collaborators will test a novel treatment for neuroblastoma, the most common tumor in children other than a brain tumor. They have shown that the disease is often dependent on a cancer protein called EP300 and have developed a method that can selectively delete this protein to block neuroblastoma progression with limited side effects. Support from the Wong Family Award will help advance this strategy from the laboratory to the clinic.

Christopher Reilly of Medical Oncology
Reilly’s project focuses on telomeres, the DNA at the ends of chromosomes that shortens as people age. People with short telomeres have a higher risk of certain cancers and may experience more severe side effects from cancer treatment. Reilly is analyzing data from Dana-Farber’s Profile project, which includes information on genetic abnormalities in thousands of patients’ tumor samples, to identify patients with inherited telomere disorders and determine how these disorders affect treatment outcomes.”

Source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/LinkedIn