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AACR and Kure It Announce Two Kidney Cancer Research Grant Recipients

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 9:00am
AACR

Drs. William Y. Kim, of UNC, and James W. Mier, of Harvard, will each receive $250,000 grants to support innovative, translational kidney cancer research.

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research and Kure It are pleased to announce that William Y. Kim, M.D., and James W. Mier, M.D., will each receive a 2012 AACR-Kure It Grant for Kidney Cancer Research.

Kim, assistant professor in the departments of medicine and genetics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in Chapel Hill, and Mier, associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the division of hematology and oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, Mass., will each receive $250,000 during the two-year grant term. In addition, Kim and Mier will receive complementary registration to the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, to be held April 6-10 in Washington, D.C., and will be recognized at the Annual Grants Reception and Dinner on Tuesday, April 9.

These grants are designed to provide support for innovative translational kidney cancer research designed to improve the survival and quality of life of patients with kidney cancer and, in turn, lead to individualized therapeutic options for the treatment or development of promising new kidney cancer therapies.

Kim’s project, “Defining the RCC [Renal Cell Carcinoma] Kinome for Target Discovery and Individualized Therapy,” aims to personalize kinase therapy based on the patient’s kidney tumor.

“Despite the fact that kidney cancer has very few activating mutations in kinases, they can be activated through alternate means and remain tenable therapeutic targets in renal cell carcinoma. We will use a novel, quantitative mass spectroscopy-based assay developed at University of North Carolina to assess the global activation state of the kinome and identify both novel as well as currently actionable targets,” said Kim, a faculty member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Mier’s research will explore the mechanism by which HDM2 antagonists and vascular endothelial growth factor-targeted drugs act together to block tumor angiogenesis and induce disease regression in renal cell carcinomas in his project, “HDM2/HDMX as a Therapeutic Target in Renal Cell Carcinoma.” His work will support the ongoing translational kidney cancer research at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

“I am honored to have been selected for this grant and am grateful to Kure It and the AACR for making the funds available. Everyone in my lab feels encouraged by this award. We are planning to use the funds to carry out preclinical studies of novel agents that may prove useful in patients with RCC. The AACR-Kure It funds will allow us to carry out studies that we might otherwise not have been able to undertake,” said Mier.

The expert scientific review committee, assembled by the AACR, received 44 high-caliber applications from independent investigators who proposed to develop and study new ideas and approaches that will have a direct application and relevance to patients with kidney cancer.

The AACR and Kure It are committed to collaboratively sustain the grant to award funding to the most promising kidney cancer research project.

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