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Damon Runyon Funds Young Scientists Pursuing Molecular Cancer Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has awarded $2.8 million to early-career investigators pursuing a range of molecular and genomic research projects.

DRCF said this week that it funded 15 new Damon Runyon Fellows, young scientists who are seeking independent funding, with $156,000 each. It also granted five Breakthrough Scientist awards, which provide $100,000 in additional funding to scientists who are completing their fellowship projects.

The Breakthrough Scientists include:
• David Breslow, of Stanford University, who is using a combination of genomic, biochemical, and cell biology approaches to study how signaling occurs in cilia and is involved in tumor formation;
• Costas Lyssiotis, of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, who is investigating how oncogenes affect cellular metabolism in pancreatic cancer, and if Kras-mediated signaling can be targeted for therapeutic gain;
• Raymond Moellering, of the Scripps Research Institute, who is looking at links between metabolic pathways and protein modifications in cancer cells;
• Cole Trapnell, of Harvard University, who will use genomic and computational biology approaches to study how genetic mutations give rise to aggressive tumor cell behavior; and
• Nathan Thomsen, of the University of California, San Francisco, to study molecular mechanisms and interactions involved inside cancer cells and to develop antibodies to target the cancer cells.

The new Damon Runyon Fellows include:
• Brittany Adamson, at UCSF, who is using large-scale genetic approaches to map the regulatory networks responsible for maintaining molecular equilibria inside human cells;
• Rohith Srivas, at Stanford, who is studying changes in the composition and function of bacteria in the human gut microbiome and seeking to develop new strategies for treating metabolic disorders and reduce the risk of gastric and colon cancers;
• Thomas Vierbuchen, at Harvard Medical School, who is using high-throughput sequencing-based approaches to identify and characterize the function of genomic regulatory elements that control neuronal activity-related gene transcription; and
• Alexey Soshnev, at Rockefeller University, who is investigating the molecular connection between nuclear architecture and gene regulation and how histones are involved in DNA folding in the nucleus.

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