Licht:Lab News

From OpenWetWare
Jump to navigationJump to search

Northwestern Awarded $6.25 Million to Study Blood Cancers


White Plains, NY (September 5, 2012) - The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) today announced it has awarded four new grants through its prestigious Marshall A. Lichtman Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) research initiative, bringing the program's total funding to $260 million since its inception in 2000.

All Principal Investigators have long-time connections to LLS. They are Jerry M. Adams, Ph.D., The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research; Jon C Aster, M.D., Ph.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc.; Carl H. June, M.D., University of Pennsylvania; Jonathan Licht, M.D., Northwestern University.

The innovative SCOR program funds teams of researchers representing different disciplines and engaged in collaborative efforts to discover new approaches to treat patients with hematological malignancies. The teams will each receive $1.25 million a year for five years, for a total of $6.25 million each.

Dr. Licht, professor and chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University, along with a distinguished group of co-investigators at Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the University of Michigan studies aberrant epigenetic regulation in leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. The group studies chromatin, the combination of DNA and protein which contains genes and epigenetics, the chemical and physical changes in chromatin that control how genes are turned on and off. Recent evidence resulting from the human genome project showed that mutations in proteins that control the chemical structure of chromatin are common in blood cancer. Such mutations have a cascade effect leading to a radical upset of the normal control of genes and uncontrolled cell growth. Many of the proteins that affect chromatin are enzymes and may be targeted for therapy. Dr. Licht's SCOR group includes leukemia biologists, molecular biologists, structural biologists and chemists. Together they will discover how mutant epigenetic proteins cause blood cancers, develop animal models of these processes, solve the detailed atomic structure of the proteins and begin to develop therapies to reverse the abnormalities. Over the past five years the group published numerous joint papers on the underlying mechanism of leukemia in the highest quality scientific journals. They have analyzed clinical specimens to understand how epigenetic regulation may affect the prognosis of leukemia. Lastly the group in involved in the study of drugs that can reverse abnormal gene regulation in leukemia.

Back to Jonathan Licht's Lab