NCI awards ‘provocative questions’ grants to Jackson lab researchers

Jackson Laboratory Assistant Professors Jennifer Trowbridge, Ph.D., and Chengkai Dai, M.D., Ph.D., have each received new federal research grants through a funding mechanism designed to address “provocative questions” about cancer set out by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

According to the NCI, the Provocative Questions initiative provides funding “to challenge cancer researchers to think about and elucidate specific problems in key areas of cancer research that are deemed important but have not received sufficient attention.”

Trowbridge will receive $426,426 over two years for her investigations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Several acquired mutations are associated with this disease, and Trowbridge is exploring whether the sequence in which the mutations occur has an effect on the severity of the cancer or the effectiveness of treatments.

Dai’s two-year, $478,688 grant will support his studies of metformin, a widely prescribed anti-diabetic drug that appears to have anti-cancer effects. He hypothesizes that metformin suppresses the proteotoxic stress response-a mechanism that helps normal cells survive various stresses but also protects cancer cells.

Source: Jackson Laboratory