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Wistar Scientists Capture Top Federal Research Grants
Darien Sutton

The year is not halfway over and Wistar Institute scientists are rapidly securing prestigious, highly-competitive grants in 2016. The following grants were awarded to Wistar scientists in recent months:

Louise Showe, Ph.D., professor in Wistar’s Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program, and Qihong Huang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Wistar’s Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, were awarded a major National Cancer Institute grant totaling $3,355,655 over five years. This grant propels their work to develop a non-invasive, more accurate blood test to detect lung cancer at very early stages while the disease is treatable and before it spreads to other organs.

Paul M. Lieberman, Ph.D., Hilary Koprowski, M.D., Endowed Professor, professor and program leader of Wistar’s Gene Expression and Regulation Program and director of Wistar’s Center for Chemical Biology and Translational Medicine, received a National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research award totaling $2,367,500 over five years. This grant will support research to shed light on how Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) establishes and controls gene expression in host cells and offer new insights into how EBV-related cancers develop.

Wistar senior staff scientist Costin Tomescu, Ph.D., works at the forefront of HIV Cure research in the lab of Luis J. Montaner, D.V.M., D.Phil., professor and director of the HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory. Tomescu received a National Institute on Drug Abuse grant in the amount of $524,983 over two years for research into the mechanisms of HIV resistance.

Research into how myeloid-derived suppressor cells play a role in regulating the immune system and cancer progression is a major focus of the lab of Yulia Nefedova, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program. Yulia was awarded an NCI grant totaling $467,835 over two years to study how a protein called S100A9 contributes to the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma and to test a novel therapy that could target this protein.