Big Ideas

Timothy Burns, M.D., Ph.D.

November 21, 2013

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Finding the right therapy for lung cancer has proven difficult. Recent research has focused on sequencing different lung cancer mutations and allowing researchers to identify effective drug variations for some of those mutations. Dr. Timothy Burns is a 2013 V Scholar Grant recipient with a personal connection to lung cancer. Having lost both parents to the disease, he is focused on researching targeted therapies for the KRAS mutation of non-small cell lung cancer. The KRAS mutation accounts for 25 percent of all lung cancers and is resistant to drug therapies. Dr. Burns’ research includes determining why the disease is resistant to current therapies and how to overcome the resistance.