Big Ideas

Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko, Ph.D., and Stephen Grupp, M.D., Ph.D.

May 25, 2012

Dr. Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko and Dr. Stephen Grupp of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are using their 2011 Translational Grant to study a treatment that involves slowing the two pathways that activate MYC — a cancer protein that leads to the unsuppressed growth of immature white blood cells. Their study will seek to better understand the causes and mechanisms of B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia.

The funding will allow Thomas-Tikhonenko, who is the Chief of the Division of Cancer Pathobiology, t0 expand on previous research in which he determined the use of a particular enzyme blocked proteins on the surface of B cells from activating MYC. This research found that without the proteins, tumors formed much slower in mouse models. Thomas-Tikhonenko said he’s hopeful that with the help of The V Foundation’s Translational Grant, he and co-investigator Grupp will develop stronger conclusive answers that can be implemented in therapy techniques in clinics. He said he’s very grateful to The V Foundation for its willingness to invest in early-career cancer investigators.