The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named three Harvard affiliates among its 17 new fellows. The recipients of this prestigious, three-year award are outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators across the country.
Harvard’s 2007 Damon Runyon Fellows
Research fellow in pathology at Harvard Medical School Eric J. Bennett (with his sponsor J. Wade Harper) is utilizing rational high-throughput screening to identify new components within the cellular degradation machinery that control the abundance of the prominent tumor suppressor protein, PTEN. The goal is to identify new proteins that cooperate with known cancer-causing proteins to initiate oncogenesis.
Postdoctoral fellow in molecular and cellular biology Yoh Isogai (with his sponsor Catherine Dulac) is investigating causes and effects of stress hormone ACTH perturbation, a hallmark of certain pituitary cancers, in the brain.
Research fellow in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology Elizabeth S. Sattely (with her sponsor Christopher T. Walsh) is focusing her research on understanding how enzymes synthesize medicinal compounds in nature. Because many powerful chemotherapeutics are small molecules produced by micro-organisms, her efforts will hopefully contribute to the discovery of next-generation anticancer agents.
The fellowship is specifically intended to encourage the nation’s most promising young investigators to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding to work on innovative projects. The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has committed more than $200 million to support the careers of cancer researchers across the United States since the program’s inception.