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Twenty-Three Cancer Researchers Receive Funding From The Hillman Fellows Program For Innovative Cancer Research


PITTSBURGH , March 23, 2006 The second wave of Hillman Fellows at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), a group of 23 researchers, has received grants totaling $2 million to pursue novel, high priority cancer projects. The grants are part of a $20 million gift donated to UPCI by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and the Hillman Foundation that established the Hillman Fellows Program for Innovative Cancer Research in 2005.

The Hillman Fellows Program was created to fund cancer research that, although in its early stages, promises to have a far-reaching impact on the field. The program has funded research in cancer stem cell biology, biomarkers for the early detection of cancer, cancer vaccines and cellular therapies, methods for diagnosing and monitoring cancer, and programs in cancer prevention that are based on genetic and environmental risks for disease.

The 2006 Hillman Fellows and their research topics include:

* Lisa Butterfield, Ph.D. and John Kirkwood, M.D. Determinant spreading in melanoma immunotherapy
* William Chambers, Ph.D. Evaluating the effects of stress on spontaneous breast cancer development
* Shi-Yuan Cheng, Ph.D. Signaling mechanisms in glioma invasion
* Albert Deleo, Ph.D. Aldehyde dehydrogenase type 1, a novel tumor antigen for development of vaccines for immunotherapy of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
* Stefan Duensing, M.D. Genomic instability induced by tumor viruses: Identification of molecular mechanisms and possible therapeutic implications
* Seymour Garte, Ph.D. and Emanuela Taioli, M.D., Ph.D Interactions between genetic factors and environmental exposures in human cancer causation
* Elieser Gorelik, M.D., Ph.D. A new approach in anticancer drug screening
* Pamela Hershberger, Ph.D. Improving vitamin D as a treatment for lung cancer by preventing its destruction within tumor cells
* Bo Hu, Ph.D. Target deregulated transcription factors and co-factors for cancer prevention
* Michael Lotze, M.D. Improving on interleukin-2 therapy for cancer
* Ruth Modzelewski, Ph.D. Tumor blood vessel targeting as a strategy for cancer intervention to improve diagnosis and targeted treatment options
* Mark Nichols, Ph.D. Understanding resistance to antihormone therapy in breast cancer treatment: Developing new RNA interference tools and drug screens to find novel and effective therapies
* Donna Posluszny, Ph.D. Brief psychosocial intervention for head and neck cancer patients and partners
* Hannah Rabinowich, Ph.D. Harnessing Ncl-1 anti-apoptotic mechanisms for the protection of T lymphocytes from prostate cancer-induced dysfunction
* Sanjay Srivastava, Ph.D. and Shivendra Singh, Ph.D. Prostate cancer prevention by guggulsterone, a constituent of Indian ayurvedic medicinal plants
* Richard Steinman, M.D., Ph.D. The role of post-transcriptional regulation in differentiation and cancer
* Nikola Vujanovic, M.D., Ph.D. Cancer immunotherapy by stimulation NK cell-dendritic cell cross talk
* Yong Wan, Ph.D. Functional proteomic study of proteolysis in DNA damage/repair and tumor formation
* Qingde Wang, M.D., Ph.D. Regulation of NF-xB signaling pathway in cancer stem cells and its clinical implications
* Joel L. Weissfeld, M.D. Follow-up research-based lung cancer screening at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute


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