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2 U-M scientists receive Kimmel Scholar grants for cancer research


ANN ARBOR, Mich – Two scientists from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center were selected to receive two-year grants under the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research’s on-going Kimmel Scholar program. The U-M scholars are among 16 chosen nationally.

The two selected were Ronald Buckanovich, M.D., Ph.D., and Patrick Hu, M.D., Ph.D. Each will receive a $200,000 award to further their specific cancer research project.

Buckanovich, assistant professor of internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School, will develop a mouse tumor model with human tumor vessles as well as human tumor cells. This will allow his lab to test a potential new therapy for ovarian cancer that targets human tumor blood vessels. No similar model for testing in animals currently exists, which has limited efforts to further this research.

Hu, assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School and research assistant professor at the U-M Life Sciences Institute, is using a type of worms as a model system to study the regulation of FoxO transcription factors. Hu hopes the FoxO transcription factors, which act as tumor suppressors in mammals, will reveal clues to how cancer develops, potentially leading to a target for developing new cancer therapies.

The Kimmel Scholar Awards were created in 1997 to advance the careers of gifted, young scientists involved in cancer research. Scientists are selected who show the greatest promise and innovation, but whose careers have not evolved sufficiently to provide them the critical mass of prior research that typically justifies receiving major grants from the National Cancer Institute and other funding sources. This year there were nearly 200 grant applications for review.

The foundation is particularly interested in helping physicians who are engaged in research which can rapidly be translated into benefits for patients with cancer. Five of the 16 awardees, including Buckanovich, have been designated for so-called translational research.

U-M’s team approach to both cancer research and patient care is reflected in its mission: the conquest of cancer through innovation and collaboration. Earlier this year, the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center launched the Ravitz Foundation Phase I/Translational Research Center to speed the development of innovative therapies by fostering the transition from the laboratory to the bedside.

For information about cancer treatment, visit or call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Written by: Nicole Fawcett


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