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Jackson Lab Wins NCI Grant for MicroRNA Studies

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Jackson Laboratory has won a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of certain microRNAs in the development of lung cancer.

The $430,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute will fund research into how microRNAs are involved in the progression of pulmonary adenocarcinoma, which accounts for nearly half of all lung tumors, Jackson Lab, which is an NCI-designated Cancer Center, said today.

"Pulmonary adenocarcinoma has a high mortality rate, due in part to the high frequency of metastasis to the other lung and distant sites within the body," Jackson Lab research scientist Julie Wells said in a statement.

Previous studies on mouse models and human cell lines using microRNAs, which regulate gene expression of target genes, have "shown great promise for using microRNA-based therapies to treat lung cancer," Wells said.

Such treatments, however, are limited by a lack of knowledge about which genes are targeted for regulation by individual microRNAs.

"To overcome this limitation, we are developing a new approach to identify direct interactions between microRNAs and target genes during progression from early-stage to late stage pulmonary adenocarcinoma in mice," Wells added.

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