A Doctor’s Appointment with Martin Kast
Our “Doctor’s Appointment” posts provide you the opportunity to get to know, understand and relate to the doctors who are working hard to find a cure for cancer.
In 2003, Martin Kast, a professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, was awarded a Translational grant to search for a new approach to cervical cancer. After he received funding from The V Foundation, Kast was able to identify the receptor for the human papilloma virus, which causes cervical cancer.
He is now developing a therapeutic vaccine for HPV-induced cervical cancer and is leading the world in research for a cream that can be used for HPV-infections.
With the funding from The V Foundation, Kast was able to make two major discoveries involving cervical cancer. He first identified the receptor for HPV and then discovered how HPV is able to escape the human immune system.
“If you know how the virus escaped the human immune system, you have basically identified the Achilles’ heel of the virus,” said Kast.
The V Foundation grant has not only helped Kast generate more funding from the National Institute of Health, but has also allowed him to train his graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, who can multiply his research efforts in their own labs.
Kast is passionate about the need for funding for cancer research and is still incredibly supportive of The V Foundation.
“Everyone in this life will either be confronted directly or indirectly by cancer,” Kast said. “The direct correlation really indicates that the more funding you put into [research], the more lives you save. You can hardly imagine how important your contributions are for making cancer a disease of the past.”