Grants - Virginia - Designated Grants - 2019

John Bushweller, Ph.D.

Funded by the V Foundation’s Virginia Vine event, in honor of WWE Connor’s Cure

Our grant aims to develop drugs for altered forms of the protein MLL which arise in pediatric leukemia. Patients with leukemia harboring altered forms of MLL have very poor survival, highlighting the need for new approaches to treat these patients. The altered MLL proteins are highly dependent on the ability of one part of the protein to bind to DNA. We are developing drugs to block this binding. Our initial results support that this approach could be highly effective for treating this type of leukemia. Since this is a new way to treat the leukemia, it has the potential to be more effective than currently used drugs as well as less toxic. In addition, since this is a very different approach from existing drugs, it is likely that combinations of this new drug with existing drugs will provide unique benefits.

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