V Scholar Plus Award – extended funding for exceptional V Scholars
Our research is important because we study a new uncharted realm of gene expression in cancer call mRNA translation. This significantly understudied field is poised to reveal new insights into what makes cancer so difficult to treat and identify completely new ways to treat them. Our laboratory has developed new technologies to study this process in cancer. For example, we specifically focus on late stage prostate cancer which leads to approximately 26,000 deaths per year in the United States. Through the generous support of the V Foundation, we have developed a tool box of advanced staged prostate cancer models and have discovered that mRNA translation plays a key role in this disease. Furthermore, we have developed new sequencing based technologies to study the parts of the human genome which regulate mRNA translation in cancer. Importantly, we are rapidly discovering that our work applies not only to prostate cancer, but to all human malignancies. Ultimately, we aim to develop new drugs to target mRNA translation. If we are successful we will break open completely new ways to think about and treat incurable cancers.