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7 Graduate School faculty members awarded over $13 million from CPRIT

September 09, 2019
Tracey Barnett

Seven faculty members from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences were awarded $13,651,742 in funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

CPRIT awards to the Graduate School faculty include:

Individual Investigator Research Awards:

Shao-Cong Sun, PhD, received $900,000 for his project, Regulation of CD8 T-cell responses in anti-tumor immunity. Sun is affiliated with the GSBS Program in Immunology, and is a professor in the Department of Immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Alemayehu A. Gorfe, PhD, received $897,483 for his project, Characterization and optimization of novel allosteric KRAS inhibitors. Gorfe is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and Therapeutics and Pharmacology, and is an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

High-Impact High-Risk Awards:

Andrea Viale, MD, received $199,804 for his project, Epithelial memory of resolved inflammation as a driver of pancreatic cancer progression. Viale is an assistant professor in the Department of Genomic Medicine Program at MD Anderson. 

Leng Han, PhD, received $199,998 for his project, Expression landscape and biomedical significance of transfer RNAs in cancer. Han is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and Quantitative Sciences, and is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at McGovern Medical School.

Core Facility Support Awards:

Kevin M. McBride, PhD, received $3,505,385 for his project, Recombinant antibody production core (RAPC). McBride is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Genetics and Epigenetics, and Immunology. He is an associate professor in Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis at MD Anderson’s Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center in Smithville.

Zhiqiang An, PhD, received $5,949,072 for his project, Advanced cancer antibody drug modalities core facility. An is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Immunology, and Therapeutics and Pharmacology, and is a professor at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at McGovern Medical School.

Early Translational Research Award:

Qingyun Liu, PhD, received $2,000,000 for his project, Discovery and development of novel peptibody-drug conjugate for treating cancers of the digestive system. Liu is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Cancer Biology, and Therapeutics and Pharmacology, and is a professor at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at McGovern Medical School. 

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded $2.4 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. Funding from this institute has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 5.7 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties. In May 2019, the Texas Legislature approved a constitutional amendment for the November 5, 2019, general election ballot to authorize an additional $3 billion in bonds for cancer research and prevention.

 

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