June 2013
Table of Contents

Shared Resource Spotlight
Transgenic/Knock-out Mouse Facility
The primary purpose of the TKMF core is to provide an efficient and economical means for producing genetically modified mice for research members. 

Genetically modified mice have become an indispensable tool in cancer research and the utility of such models range from studies of basic biology of tumorigenesis and progression to the creation of genetically accurate tumor models for the evaluation of novel therapeutic approaches. 
Contact Information: 
(804) 828-5843
Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring. View the full list. 

Leaders' UpdateUpdate

A message from Steven Grant, M.D., associate director for translational research and Developmental Therapeutics co-leader

Massey is continuing to develop promising research concepts and to effectively translate them into clinical trials. 

This message continues with:
Research HighlightsHighlights
 Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Cancer Molecular Genetics
Targeted viral therapy destroys breast cancer stem cells in preclinical experiments 

A promising new treatment for breast cancer has been shown in cell culture and animal models to selectively kill cancer stem cells at the original tumor site and in distant metastases with no toxic effects to healthy cells.

Steven Grant, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics
co-leader and Cancer Cell Signaling member
Experimental drug combination selectively destroys lymphoma cells

A novel combination of the drugs ibrutinib and bortezomib has been found in lab studies to be an effective new therapy for several forms of blood cancer, including large B-cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma. 

 Maghboeba Mosavel, Ph.D.
Cancer Prevention and Control
Project LIFE! puts faith in churches to influence healthy behavior

Project LIFE! utilizes the power and influence of the African-American church to become a partner in addressing major health concerns. The project's trained coaches spread health promotion messages and host tailored activities aimed at increasing healthy behaviors and promoting early detection for cancer.  

Center News Center1
New radiation oncology facilities open


Through community partnerships, Massey will open two new radiation oncology facilities in July at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center in Fredericksburg and Community Memorial Healthcenter in South Hill. 


Member ShowcaseShowcase
Santanu Dasgupta, Ph.D.
Cancer Molecular Genetics
Massey welcomes Santanu Dasgupta, Ph.D., as one of the newest research members of the Cancer Molecular Genetics program. 

Dasgupta's research focuses on developing early detection and monitoring strategies for cancers. He is also interested in developing tumor immunotherapeutic strategies utilizing suitable tumor-associated antigens.

Researcher RecognitionRecognition
Cancer Research Retreat roundup

The annual Cancer Research Retreat began with Matthew Hartman, Ph.D., and Lawrence Povirk, Ph.D., discussing their collaboration on the development of a novel drug that could increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy by reducing cancer cells' ability to repair DNA damage. Next, Charles Chalfant, Ph.D., and Michael Shultz, Ph.D., presented their research on the connection between melanoma differentiation associated gene-7 (mda-7) and lung cancer. Then the keynote speaker, Timothy Ley, M.D., discussed his work exploring the genetic changes that contribute to the development of acute myeloid leukemia. Ley's team was the first to sequence an entire cancer genome, enabling him to identify specific genetic mutations that are now being examined as targets for the development of new gene therapies.
After the presentations, graduate level students and postdoctoral fellows displayed their research at the poster sessions and competed for Excellence in Cancer Research Awards. Congratulations to the winners:
  • First place: Bridget Quinn for "Sabutoclax, a novel PAN-BCL-2 family antagonist, and its role in pancreatic cancer therapy"    
  • Second place: Chadia Robertson for "Analyzing astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) knock-out mice: elucidation of the role of AEG-1 in lipid metabolism and hepatocarcinogenesis"    
  • Third place: Lauren Folgosa for "New implications of ADAMs in TNFa-related diseases: ADAM10 deficient B cells exhibit increased ADAM17 and TNFa" 
Richmond Magazine
Mayer Grob, M.D., was interviewed about prostate cancer in African Americans

Press coverage is compiled monthly for your convenience. 

Top Cancer News

Journal of Clinical Oncology

Journal of Molecular Diagnostics (Also featured in U.S. News & World Report)

The New York Times

 Share with us your research, awards and accomplishments! 
Submit your news to Alaina Farrish at akfarrish@vcu.edu or (804) 628-4578.
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