August 2014  
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities


Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring. View the full list. 

Shared Resource Spotlight

Lipidomics Developing Shared Resource Core
The LDSRC has recently acquired an AB SCIEX Quadrupole Time of Flight (GTOF 5600+) mass analyzer. This high resolution mass analyzer allows the core to carry out investigative analysis of biological systems. 

To learn more about the new equipment and the typical workflow of the core, visit the LDSRC website

Leaders' UpdateUpdate

A message from Director Gordon Ginder

I am pleased to report that Massey was recently recognized by the NCI with a $4.4 million, 5-year, renewable grant and by U.S. News and World Report as the top scoring hospital in Virginia for cancer care. Massey has also welcomed 25 new research members since January and has several open positions. 

This message continues with more on:
Research HighlightsHighlights
Steven Grant, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics
Cancer Cell Signaling
Promising new cancer therapy uses molecular "Trash Man" to exploit a common cancer defense

In a recent study led by Steven Grant, scientists induced autophagy using obatoclax while simultaneously blocking the production of p62 with the use of a CDK inhibitor. Several experiments involving animal models and cultured multiple myeloma cells demonstrated that blocking p62 disrupted autophagy and killed far more cancer cells than administering the anti-cancer agents alone. 

Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
Cancer Molecular Genetics
Protein found to block benefits of vitamin A cancer therapy

A team of scientists led by Devanand Sarkar demonstrated that the protein AEG-1 binds to retinoid X receptors (RXR), which help regulate cell growth and development. RXR is typically activated by retinoic acid, but the overexpressed AEG-1 proteins found in cancer cells block these signals and help promote tumor growth. Using complex animal models, the researchers showed that blocking the production of AEG-1 allowed retinoic acid to profoundly kill liver cancer cells.

Center News Center1
Massey receives $4.4 million NCI grant to support a statewide cancer clinical trials network, foster minority access to trials and focus research on cancer disparities
Massey was awarded a 5-year, renewable grant from the NCI to support a statewide network for cancer clinical research in Virginia that brings state-of-the-art clinical trials to patients in their own communities and emphasizes the inclusion of minorities in clinical trials and a focus on research that addresses cancer disparities.

Massey scored highest in Virginia for cancer care by U.S. News for third year
For the third year in a row, Massey was the top scoring hospital in Virginia providing high-performing cancer care in U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Hospitals list. Massey received the best score in cancer care of the 24 Virginia hospitals that made the list of the nearly 130 total hospitals in the state.

Member ShowcaseShowcase
Barbara Boyan, Ph.D.
non-aligned member


Dean of VCU School of Engineering joins Massey as a research member

Barbara Boyan, William H. and Alice T. Goodwin Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Dean of the VCU School of Engineering, has joined Massey as a research member.

Her research topics include: cell and tissue engineering, response of cells to biomaterials, mechanisms of action of hormones and growth factors in cartilage and bone, normal and pathological calcification and stem cell delivery technologies. 
Researcher Recognition Recognition
Harry D. Bear, M.D., Ph.D.
Developmental Therapeutics
Massey leader Harry Bear appointed to prestigious board
Harry Bear has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Foundation, Inc.

The NSABP Foundation is the world's leading cooperative group for designing and conducting large-scale breast and colorectal cancer clinical trials.  

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Top Cancer News
JAMA Internal Medicine
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