NIH Awards $2.2m Collaborative Grant to Two UCSF Scientists
The NIH has awarded two UCF scientists, Hassan Lemjabbar-Alaoui, Ph.D and Joanna J. Phillips, M.D., Ph.D., a five-year $2.2m grant to study the clinical utility of extracellular heparan sulfate endosulfatases, or SULFs, as biomarkers for early detection of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and malignant astrocytoma. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and world-wide. Astrocytomas are primary brain neoplasms (tumors). Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and malignant primary brain tumor, was responsible for the death of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The U01 mechanism that funded this grant, also known as a collaborative R01, is reserved for highly innovative cross-disciplinary projects that hold great promise for scientific advancements. Here Dr. Alaoui, an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Surgery, and a member of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Program and Thoracic Oncology Lab, has teamed with Dr. Phillips, an Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and Pathology and Co-Director of the Brain Tumor Research Center Tissue Bank, to investigate plasma levels of SULFs, which are overexpressed in each of these lethal cancers.